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Cecil Road Primary School, Salt River, Cape Town

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To say there was an air of excitement at Cecil Road Primary School on Wednesday, 24 April 2019, is something of an understatement! Excited children, harried teachers and proud parents gathered to help celebrate the opening of a brand new school library, sponsored by MAL Foundation, Marlboro Originals, Breadline Africa and Net#Work BBDO.

Opening the festivities with typical Cape Town flair, some of the children sang and danced to the well-known song ‘Welcome to Cape Town’, dressed in colourful carnival gear and carrying bright umbrellas, much to the delight the 178 guests who attended this event.  This was followed by the recitation of a poem about reading, ballroom dancing, and several musical performances by children.

Both KFM and CapeTalk radio stations broadcasted their morning programmes from the school, and KFM’s mascot, Rocket was there too – celebrating his birthday – much to the delight of the children.

Speaking on behalf of all donors, MAL creative co-founder, Mike Schalit, explained that this gift to the school was inspired by MAL’s philosophy “we make a living from what we get, we make a life from what we give’. And the foundation has certainly been generous in its giving, having now shared the gift of libraries and literacy with a total of 14 schools around the country.

Founded in  1937, Cecil Road Primary School has been home to many generations of learners.  The current principal’s parents were former pupils who met at the school, he was a former pupil, as were two of the school’s current custodian staff members. The medical doctor who attends to the school’s medical needs is also a proud former pupil.

School Principal, Shahid Mathews said “it’s been a wonderful thing to see the joy and excitement in the eyes of our children as the library started taking shape.  We’re excited to open the doors and let the children enjoy the incredible resource that has been created for them. With its imaginative design and bright colours, the children don’t even have to go into the library to gain from the experience.”

In addition to contributing to the design of the structure and managing this project, Breadline Africa also provided 2,000 age-appropriate books as well as a collection of specially-selected educational games and toys, helping a new generation of South African children to discover the joy of reading and sparking their imagination.

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