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.
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.
On Literacy Day one year ago, we came to terms with the harsh and sobering reality of the literacy crisis in South Africa. The statistics are shocking. Even more so the thought of their implications in years to come. As a nation, we cannot afford to operate in silos. We must collaborate, share findings, and critically assess whether interventions are working.
In this month’s edition of Who Is Who In Literacy we feature FunDza, a local NGO that is tackling access to books and stories head on by providing disadvantaged youth with relevant and engaging reading material.
In this month’s instalment of Who Is Who In Literacy, we chat with Maurita Weissenberg, the Founder of Shine Literacy. Shine is a non-profit dedicated to improving literacy outcomes for young children from disadvantaged communities in South Africa, and works with children in Grades Two and Three.
A lack of proper infrastructure and access to books are two major contributing factors to the literacy crisis in South Africa. Thankfully, there are organisations around the country that are dedicated to creating safe, educational spaces where children can not only access books, but fall in love with reading.
In the second instalment of our Who Is Who In Literacy series we feature Wordworks, an organisation that supports early language and literacy development among children from birth to 8 years.
Last year, we took a long, hard look at the state of illiteracy in South Africa. By now, you may be well aware of the statistics and their implications, but what you may not know is what is being done by initiatives and organisations that, like ourselves, are working every day to solve the literacy crisis.