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.
Have a bookshelf lined with books at home? Count yourself privileged. In South Africa, access to books is a major challenge hindering literacy; a challenge that particularly impacts children from impoverished families, who are less likely to own or have access to reading material at home.
My journey began as I stepped into London, a buzzing city with vibrant people and energized in every aspect. Shortly after our arrival, we met the team at our sister organization Beanstalk, a diverse group of people who are passionate about literacy.
On the 2nd of October, three help2read staff members embarked on a Learning Share Journey to London to visit our literacy sister charity, Beanstalk. It was a very educative journey of many miles around the UK, which was akin to climbing a giant beanstalk!
What do Brand South Africa’s Pumela Salela, brilliant wit and satirist Rory Bremner, De Beers’ CEO Bruce Cleaver and Bonham’s Giles Peppiatt have in common? They all participated in last night’s second help2read “ Shine A Light on Literacy” Gala Dinner.
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