Sacred Heart College had Champagnat Day celebrations on June 7.
This year Champagnat Day encouraged reading.
Learners were part of an initiative, Drop Everything (including your devices) and Read, for a two-hour period.
“The idea was for the school and the parents to encourage and motivate the children to read more,” said Lynn Walker, Sacred Heart College marketing co-ordinator.
She said invitations were sent to parents and alumni communities of the school requesting readers, writers, poets, authors, journalists and anyone with a passion for reading, to offer to read to learners.
“The invitation was met with overwhelming response. The day turned out to be a beautiful day and learners were inspired,” said Walker.
There were accomplished authors and writers who supported the day.
The senior learners engaged in an inter-generational conversation between an alumnus of the school, Jarred Thompson and Achmat Dangor, who is a parent.
The sessions were facilitated by Claire Baker, the head of the English department.
She encouraged them to share with learners what inspires them to write.
Dangor encouraged the learners to discuss the prologue from his recent book, Dikeledi, and Jarred chose contrasting poems.
A grandparent, Wessel Ebersohn, and his granddaughter, Kathleen, both read from their original works.
Kathleen is also an alumnus of the school.
Her grandfather is an author of novels and thrillers.
The Grade Seven learners had an opportunity to interact chat with Luli Callinicos about her biography of Oliver Tambo and how the challenges that faced 12 and 13-year-olds a century ago were different to those they face today.
Dr Thabani Sibanda, a clinical psychologist, addressed the Grade Nine learners about real life challenges and how to work through them.
Last Night at The Bassline, a book written by Professor Dave Coplan about a special jazz music venue that was owned by parents at SHC, was enjoyed by the learners as Coplan himself read extracts of the book.
English professor Allyson Kreuiter shared her passion and love for English with the senior learners.
Sara Callow, a copywriter, joined the day and read her poetry and Lebohang Silimela, who is in the publishing business, shared about her work.
“Many other parents chose to read from their favourite books when they were younger and shared with the learners what they enjoyed about the genres. Mohini Soman, Juanita Smith Sampson, Phumla Tshabalala, Zandile Gama, Audrey Elster Dangor and Gawie Malan were passionate about the books they chose and the learners had a lot of fun discussing a variety of topics with them,” said Walker.