In April 2019, Goodyear South Africa joined in on the international celebrations of World Book Day which took place on April 23, 2019. Goodyear South Africa partnered with two schools in close proximity to its operations; Inxiweni Primary School in Tembisa, Johannesburg, a new Corporate Social Responsibility partner school of Goodyear, as well as Stephen Nkomo Primary School in Kwanobuhle, Uitenhage, a long-standing partner of the company.
For the first time in 2019, the multinational company participated in the celebrations and called on employees based at the manufacturing facility in Uitenhage as well the Head Office in Midrand to donate new and pre-loved books. Employees in the Group heeded the call and donated a total of 413 books, which were given to both the schools.
Addressing learners at Inxiweni Primary School, Goodyear South Africa Group Managing Director, Darren Hayes-Powell said, “When you read a book, you allow yourself to dream and imagine a different world, experiencing different things which are captured in the pages of so many great books out there. Education is the lightest thing you can carry, and no one can ever take that away from you. From today, make a promise to yourself that you will strive to become the best version of yourself which you can ever be”.
With learners in the classrooms eagerly awaiting the arrival of Goodyear employees, the reading by Goodyear employees in various classes, commenced and was followed by questions from the learners about how reading has made them smarter and what they enjoy reading.
“Our learners are always eager to learn something new and we encourage them to read between 07:00 and 08:00 every day. During this time, you will find learners scattered across all corners of the school yard reading to themselves or with each other. Your presence today is watering the seed which we have already planted of instilling a culture of reading amongst our learners,” stated Ruth Tabu, Inxiweni Primary School Principal.
“Curiosity is wanting to know more!”, exclaimed one of the learners at Stephen Nkomo Primary School, following Manufacturing Director, Ian Hind’s speech on the relationship between curiosity and reading. “Reading is important for many reasons but there are a few that stand out; it develops our minds and language, improves our memory and communication, develops learners’ listening skills, helps our imagination and creative thinking and is the best cost-effective entertainment,” stated Hind when addressing the learners.
Zoliswa Njiyela, Stephen Nkomo Primary School Principal, thanked Goodyear for considering the learners of the school in this initiative, stating her appreciation of how the books will help the collection of their library.
“Education is one of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) pillars and it is for this reason that we participated in World Book Day, which aims to give every child and young person a book of their own. As Goodyear South Africa, we are committed to making a meaningful difference in the lives of school learners and help them keep their dreams alive. Partnering with Inxiweni Primary School and Stephen Nkomo Primary School has given Goodyear the appropriate platform to realise our goal of our CSR Education pillar of instilling a culture of reading in learners because a reading nation is a winning nation,” concluded Hayes-Powell.