Holiday Reading Clubs – Building readers in under-resourced communities
25 July, 2018
Holiday Reading Clubs are always a big highlight on the help2read calendar, and it’s not hard to see why! A combination of high-energy games, fun activities and reading adventures creates a brilliant mix that gets children learning and reading during the school holidays.
‘Readers Are Leaders’ was the theme for our most recent Holiday Reading Clubs, which took place during the June/July school break. Hundreds of children came out to attend the week-long clubs, which were facilitated by our trained Literacy Tutors and held at all four Literacy Tutor schools throughout Gauteng (Ekukhanyisweni Primary School, Iphuteng Primary School, F C Carter Primary School, Diepsloot Primary) and in four of our Literacy Tutor schools throughout the Western Cape (Groendal Primary School, Wemmershoek Primary School, Sobambisana Primary School, Pauw Gedenk Primary School).
Some of the Clubs were held during the last week of term between 18-22 June 2018, due to school concerns over teacher presence over the holiday break, and others were held during the June school holidays between 25-29 June 2018.
Learners participating in our Reading Help programme, as well as other children in the township communities of Diepsloot, Alexandra, Franschhoek, Wemmershoek, Khayelitsha and Wellington were able to enjoy a fun-filled week participating in various reading activities. These activities ranged from playing lots of games, such as cat and mouse, treasure hunt, twister and ball games, as well as book discussions, arts and crafts, role-playing, games involving newspapers (e.g. newspaper dress-up, newspaper hunt, constructing a sentence using different newspapers), and of course lots of book reading.
Each day had a different skill focus, such as teamwork, respect, spelling and grammar. Throughout the activities, learners and Literacy Tutors could be seen using their imagination and creativity to confidently express their individual talents through various mediums. For example, at Wes-Eind Primary, learners put on a talent show, showcasing their right to freely express themselves as individuals through their culture, language, dancing and reciting their gratitude.
Prior to the Holiday Reading Club programme, our Literacy Tutors from Diepsloot were equipped with training on the importance of play in the development and well-being of a child, and how they can use play to encourage learning for literacy. This was a well-suited pre-cursor to the fun-filled Holiday Reading Clubs that took place at Diepsloot Primary.
We enjoyed the holiday fun with a total number of 1614 children in Gauteng – a great improvement and success following the inaugural programme last year – and 810 children in the Western Cape. The children participating in the Holiday Reading Clubs ranged between grade R and grade 8 (ages 4-12), which goes to show how wide the reach is of this safe, educational and recreational infrastructure that help2read has established in these disadvantaged communities.
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