[PRESS RELEASE] help2read partners with digital literacy platform, LightSail Education, to help children in South Africa learn to read
3 September, 2018
South African literacy development organisation, help2read, has partnered with LightSail Education to bring the award-winning digital literacy platform to help2read’s partner schools around South Africa.
“help2read is delighted to be an implementing partner with LightSail Education in South Africa”, said Lynn Campbell, Managing Director at help2read. “LightSail Education has been responsive to our uniquely South African context and has already loaded relevant reading material to their platform. The pilot will allow LightSail Education to further contextualise their platform to the needs of our readers. It is not often that award-winning organisations go the extra mile to accommodate the needs of implementing partners.”
The first pilot of the LightSail platform will be implemented at three under-resourced schools in the Western Cape: Wemmershoek Primary School and Groendal Primary School in Franschhoek and Mbekweni Primary School in Paarl, reaching over 200 learners that are enrolled in the help2read Reading Help Programme.
help2read Literacy Tutors at the three pilot schools will incorporate the LightSail platform into their bi-weekly one-on-one reading sessions with learners.
Children have little access to age and stage appropriate books in the communities in which the pilot schools are located. The use of the LightSail platform will give children access to a range of diverse books that are perfectly suited for their individual reading level.
LightSail boasts a range of key features that are proven to help boost literacy levels and encourage a love of reading, while also enabling help2read Literacy Tutors to track and assess reading levels and comprehension.
The cleverly adaptive platform displays reading material that is at the right reading level for the learner. In addition, the platform incorporates continuous assessments throughout reading material that tracks a child’s comprehension, helps to improve vocabulary and develops language usage.
help2read Literacy Tutors are eager to start using the platform in their sessions, recognising that not only is LightSail Education an excellent tool, it’s also an opportunity for children to grow their digital skills.
“This is an excellent programme and the learners will enjoy it. They will learn something new every day and improve their reading as well as computer skills”, said Rene Duthie, a Literacy Tutor at Wemmershoek Primary.
help2read has also trained several of its External Partners to utilise the LightSail platform in their work with children. The partners range from children’s homes to youth development initiatives that incorporate reading support into their programmes.
9Miles, a help2read External Partner, attended the recent training and their Head of Operations, Danica Le Fleur, expressed excitement about implementing the new literacy tool in their after-school programme. “LightSail will benefit our learners in a number of ways, such as assisting them to read with understanding, using technology that many are not familiar with, the short response questions that can help them improve their writing, the annotation option that encourages them think for themselves and the personalised library, which recommends books that are “just right” for their level.”
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