As 2017 draws to a close, the findings of the 2016 PIRLS study are top of mind. They present a devastating truth: that 8 out of 10 Grade 4 children in South Africa cannot read for meaning in any language.
help2read is delighted to have finalised a partnership with German-based child rights development agency, terre des hommes (TDH), to expand its Literacy Tutor programme to the Diepsloot community north of Johannesburg. Through funding from TDH and others, 2018 will see 20 newly recruited and trained Literacy Tutors (LTs) provide help2read’s flagship one-on-one reading help assistance to some 250 learners.
Earlier this year, we launched an after-school programme to extend our reading support beyond the academic calendar. Reading Clubs and Holiday Reading Clubs were piloted at partner schools in Johannesburg and Cape Town during 2017. The result: jam-packed classrooms filled with children eager to read and participate in the fun after-school literacy programme.
In a country where access to books is a huge challenge, school libraries can play a key role in connecting learners to age-appropriate reading resources. Sadly 90% of government schools in South Africa do not have functional libraries.
It was around a kitchen table in London that Susan Belgrave and 8 other friends decided that the rate of illiteracy amongst English children was not acceptable, so they decided to do something about it. They started to volunteer in schools and work one on one with children who were struggling with reading.
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