We all have a role to play in tackling illiteracy in South Africa
13 December, 2016
When reading becomes second nature, it’s not often that we stop to think about being able to read or what life would be like without it. In fact, once mastered, we take our literacy for granted, as if it’s a skill we’ve always had. Once we can read, it’s impossible to look at letters and not see words or understand meaning. But, once upon a time, we too were taught the foundations of literacy. For some, reading came easily; for others, it was a daily struggle.
Learning to read is a challenge for many primary school learners in South Africa. Recent studies find that more than 50% of South Africa’s primary school learners cannot understand what they read by the end of Grade 4. There is a complex web of factors behind our staggering illiteracy rates, from under-resourced schools to poorly trained teachers, and there’s no quick fix solution.
As a literacy organisation on the ground, we have seen what truly does make a difference in helping to solve the literacy crisis among primary school learners: dedicated, regular one-on-one reading support from a Volunteer Reading Helper.
Learners join our programmes to receive the individual attention they desperately need to help improve their reading. When they start out, most of our children have very little confidence in their reading ability, some struggle so much they’ve developed a dislike for reading altogether.
That’s where our Volunteer Reading Helpers come into the picture; men and women of all ages who take time out of their week to help struggling readers learn to read. Through their dedication, consistency and commitment, our volunteers not only help children learn to read, they cultivate a love for it. And the payoff is huge! A child who can read is more likely to succeed at school, secure a decent job later on in life, and meaningfully contribute to the country’s economy. And of course, a child who learns to love reading will bring up children who are more likely to love and be able to read.
Our Volunteer Reading Helpers truly have a profound impact on the future of each child that we work with. Not only that, they play a vital role in driving South Africa’s development by tackling illiteracy head on.
Volunteer Reading Helpers give the gift of literacy to learners, and it’s a gift that last forever, one that can never be taken away.
Once a reader, this gift is yours to give away. If you can read, you can qualify to be a Reading Helper. By simply giving reading support for half an hour twice each week, you can make a profound difference in the life of a child.
Volunteer as a Reading Helper and change a child’s life forever. Get in touch with us on +27 21 930 3669 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Registered Non-Profit 063-979 PBO 930027054 UK Charity Reg No. 1109567