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.
When Sonelisa walked past a help2read poster on the Wits University campus, she knew she had to find out more. As a teacher in training, Sonelisa is passionate about Education and volunteering as a Reading Helper seemed like the perfect fit for her.
When Veronica Hendricks retired at the end of 2011, she decided to use her time to do something impactful for her community. A resident of Athlone in Cape Town, Veronica saw an ad in the local newspaper calling for Reading Helpers.
Meet Deena Chetty, a Volunteer Reading Helper at Claremont Primary School in Cape Town. Deena returned to South Africa after 13 years of living abroad and was overwhelmed by the harsh realities that exist throughout the country.
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.
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.
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