The Bright Future Sensory Library Officially Opens
Toys R Us has partnered with The LEARN Project to launch a new sensory library in Newlands East township in KwaZulu-Natal.
The Bright Future Sensory Library has officially opened to the community of Newlands East which holds over a thousand books as well as educational resources and provides an interactive library experience with the aim of awakening the imagination and bringing stories to life to the children who visit.
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.
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.
“The Bright Future Sensory Library is a room filled with wonder, joy and knowledge with the purpose of encouraging learning through experience with the power of books,” says Roslynne Toerien, Co-Founder of The LEARN Project. “The wide variety of books contained in the new library include touch and feel tactile books, auditory, light, sound, pop-up and number books and interactive story boxes with visual story aids that bring stories to life.”
In addition, she adds that the library also includes an interactive puppet theatre and fantasy play dress-up area, a day and night reading area to read and experience interactive night books, star gazers and projectors, all contained in safe and comfortable spaces for learners to relax and read a book with cushions, weighted blankets and textured rugs.
“Also contained in the library are sensory trays with textured toys and additional educational resources,” she says. “We ultimately wanted to create a learning experience never to be forgotten, one that awakens the imagination and brings stories to life.”
Catherine Jacoby, Marketing Manager at Toys R Us comments: “As an organisation we are humbled to have worked with The LEARN Project for several years; this is our second library we have created with the team, and we are fortunate to be able to empower and provide relevant resources to young children in South Africa as we raise leaders of future generations.”
“The power of play is a strong value at Toys R Us and we believe that reading is a big part of this. Children learn in different ways, this can be through using their imagination to bring a book to life or through touch, sound, visual engagement, or play.”
She explains that the sensory library embraces different ways of learning and encourages children to grow in a safe and happy space that has been specifically designed for their needs. “As a brand we believe that every child has the right to learn and develop through play and sensory experiences that are interactive and this space embraces children’s differences and provides an appropriate place for learning for children with special needs.” “We want to thank everyone who donated books during last year’s literacy month at each of our 50 stores nationwide as these contributions make projects like this come to life,” Jacoby says. “Literacy is a human right and the foundation of all learning and we look forward to continuing to make even just a small difference to The LEARN Projects goals.”