Toys R Us Partners with The LEARN Project for International Literacy Month

Toys R Us Partners with The LEARN Project for International Literacy Month

Donate your pre-loved books, get a free gift and join a read-a-thon

Toys R Us will be partnering with The LEARN Project as South Africa celebrates Literacy Month in September. The theme this year: ‘transforming literacy spaces,’ is seen as an opportunity to rethink the fundamental importance of literacy learning spaces to build resilience and ensure quality, equitable, and inclusive education for all.

As the country observes Literacy Day on the 8th of September, Toys R Us is encouraging all South Africans to donate a pre-loved book at any one of the 50 stores nationwide in order to give the power of reading to disadvantaged children across the country.

The LEARN Project is a South African non-profit trust with a vision of putting a book into the hands of every learner in South Africa in order to foster a love of reading and learning today, so that they may reach their full potential tomorrow.

Founded in 2012 by Roslynne Toerien and Lucy Pienaar, the project has been building bridges and breaking educational barriers one school library at a time. It’s a result of a collaborative effort between the LEARN power house team, volunteers, donors, schools and companies all committed to bringing about change inspired by LEARN’s vision.

The project aims to equip schools with reading books and to create sustainable libraries and classroom book corners. To date, LEARN has donated almost 60 thousand books, established 17 school libraries and placed over 270 book corners in schools and organisations.

“We’re incredibly excited to partner with The LEARN project again this year. We’ve ramped up our efforts to include Toys R Us fans nationwide,” says Catherine Jacoby, Marketing Manager at Toys R Us. “Last year we partnered with the organisation which resulted in a library being built for 221 learners with 4 book corners and over 1,600 books donated.”

“This year we’re aiming to step-it-up and hope that our Toys R Us supporters will join us as we help LEARN continue with their vital work,” she adds. “This year we’ve placed collection boxes at each of our 50 stores nationwide, consumers will get a free bookmark with each book purchase and book donation and we will host a read-a-thon with local authors in three regions, there’s also an opportunity to win a book collection.”

Jacoby says that Toys R Us has chosen to partner with LEARN because every child in South Africa deserves to learn through the power of books and literacy.

Nelson Mandela once said, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,’ and this fits with our core values of offering the power of play through reading and educational toys,” she says.

Roslynne Toerien, Co-Founder of The LEARN Projects adds:

“We believe that ‘Readers Make Leaders and Leaders Build Nations’ and with the wealth of information that books provide, minds are unlocked, knowledge is imparted and leadership is developed.

“This directly links to our core vision and mission of The LEARN Project and after 9 years we have so much to celebrate, we’re looking forward to seeing this Toys R Us book month come to life,” Toerien adds. “Every child in our rainbow nation deserves to have access to books so a brighter future can be built.”

Young black father and daughter reading book outside

How you can get involved:

  • Donate your pre-loved books at any Toys R Us store nationwide
  • Sign-up to Geoffrey’s Book Club and stand a chance to win a book collection and get 25% off all books during September
  • Join Geoffrey at a Toys R Us store in Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg for a read-a-thon with Co-Founder of the LEARN Project and author, Roslynne Toerien as she reads Under the Baobab Tree and The Rumbling Rhino:
  • Gateway Shopping Centre: 10th September – 14h00-15h00
  • Fourways Mall:  24th September –  10h00-11h00
  • Canal walk Shopping Centre: 30th September – 16h00-17h00
  • Visit the Toys R Us website or The LEARN Project website for more information.

UNESCO estimates that there are close to 781 million illiterate people in the world with 19 of the world’s top 20 most illiterate countries being in Africa.

“International Literacy Day reminds us that literacy is a human right and the foundation of all learning and we hope that South Africans will join us as we try to make even just a small difference to The LEARN Projects goals,” concludes Jacoby.

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