Our Johannesburg team is growing!
12 February, 2018
2018 has brought some exciting changes at the Johannesburg office with the addition of four, yes, four new staff members. We are also delighted to now be fully underway with activities in Diepsloot and that the schools we are serving with our reading help model are multiplying. 2018 is the year we are taking on our greens and growing!
Khethiwe Radebe is our new Programme Manager for the Volunteer Reading Helpers. A qualified teacher who is passionate about education and the professional development and support of educators, Khethiwe knows first-hand the challenge of having children unable to read in a classroom. With a strong background in community engagement and wide experience of the education system, she brings 9 years of experience in the education sector including three years with Teach for South Africa to the role.
Smangele Mathebula is a Ford Foundation scholar with an extensive background in literacy, publishing, community development and social justice. She joins, fittingly, as the Programme Manager leading Gauteng’s Literacy Tutor programme, a perfect role to impact the futures of youth through personal and community transformation. Smangele was the campaign driver for the Nal’iBali Love of Reading campaign and we have no doubt that the carryover of that drive and passion will grow our community reading clubs and holiday programmes further, building a love of reading and a culture of such in communities.
Makgotso Mashao describes herself as a “future leader”. We think she is at least halfway there. A proud graduate of the Literacy Tutor programme and with first-hand knowledge of how good it feels to help children learn to read, her sunny personality and welcoming smile will grace our offices at reception. She will be able to answer your questions about the programme in action.
Mlungisi Mfeketho was the recipient of our Leadership Certificate for an Outstanding Contribution during his year of service as a Literacy Tutor in 2017. He joins the team as an Area Coordinator responsible for help2read’s expansion into the community of Diepsloot. He has already blazed a trail for help2read and we are thrilled to see the programme and partnership begin to consolidate under his competent care and attention.
It has been said that many hands make light work, and this is true for literacy development efforts. Our intervention programmes have a profound and lasting impact because of the people who facilitate them. Our staff is dedicated to ensuring that illiteracy does not continue to plague South African children.
Our focus in 2018 is to expand our reach in Gauteng and help more children to read. The PIRLS results released in December 2017 highlighted that 69% of Grade 4 learners in the province cannot read for meaning, which negatively impacts their educational outcomes. We need to change this. We have no doubt that with a lot of effort and consistency, the Johannesburg help2read team will play a huge role in ensuring this number declines from this year onwards. A reading nation is a winning nation and we have just the team to help make this a reality.
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