#MyReadingHelper – Meet Makgotso & Keamogetse
16 January, 2018
Meet Makgotso, a young 23-year-old from Alexandra township in Johannesburg. When Makgotso heard that help2read were looking for new Literacy Tutors, she knew that it would be the perfect opportunity for her to give back to her community.
As an avid reader, Makgotso knows the rich benefits of learning to read. “I realised early in life that reading improves your vocabulary and can transport you to 10 different worlds in mere moments”, she said.
Makgotso signed up for help2read’s Literacy Tutor Programme, and in February 2017 began providing reading support to 16 learners at Ekukhanyisweni Primary School, located in Alexandra.
“It has been an interesting journey, starting with a help2read training that made me realise that learners are not the same, and thus I would need a different approach in order to cater to the needs of each child”, said Makgotso. “This has taught me patience and to appreciate the little victories.”
One of the learners that Makgotso supports is Grade 5 learner, Keamogetse. “I started reading with Makgotso this year and at my first session I was shy because I didn’t know my Reading Helper,” young Keamogetse explained. “I now enjoy the reading because Makgotso is friendly and nice.”
Keamogetse meets with her Reading Helper, Makgotso, twice a week for half an hour. This consistent support from a committed Reading Helper has made all the difference for Keamogetse.
“She now knows how to read properly. She pauses when she reads. She knows a comma and full stop”, said Makgotso.
Reading support has given Keamogetse the confidence and willingness to try and to even tackle more difficult books. “What I love about Kea is that she doesn’t back down from a challenge”, said Makgotso. “I can give her any book, she will read it.”
In addition to the training she has received, Makgotso has also learnt key reading strategies from the practical experience of helping learners. “I have found that it is sometimes better to read a book over a few days, playing a game and pointing at the words while we read to encourage concentration and to better break down the words”, Makgotso explained.
Makgotso has also benefited personally from helping children, including Keamogetse, learn to read. “Being a Literacy Tutor has enabled me to become a better reader and to learn even more about myself”, she said.
Like Makgotso, you too can give the gift of reading by volunteering as a Reading Helper.
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