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Jan 17, 2020

Help2read Impact since Inception

Help2read is an educational English literacy development program that has been in operation since 2006, cumulatively reaching over 23 000 primary school learners in 400 schools with the assistance of thousands of volunteer reading helpers and township youth developed and trained as Literacy Tutors.  The focus is on supporting primary school learners who are not first language English speakers and who come from disadvantaged communities. Help2read supports children learning to read in Grades 2 through 4 so that they can read to learn thereafter. In 2019 the help2read English literacy intervention program was implemented at 62 public primary schools, providing 1 816 learners who have fallen behind with one-on-one attention from a Volunteer Reading Helper or Literacy Tutor (LT).

Help2read Impact at Wemmershoek Primary School

 

In 2019, there were 480 learners in total at Wemmershoek Primary School in Grades R- 7. Cumulatively, from February to November:

  • 21 Literacy Tutors (LTs);
  • 210 Grade 2 – 6 learners receiving one-on-one English literacy support (50% of the total number of learners in the school) and
  • 129 Grade R and Grade 1 learners attending the weekly reading clubs (100% of the total number of Grade R and Grade 1 learners in the school)

Impact of the help2read Training and Support: Literacy Tutors

 

Twenty-one LTs (including the Senior and Assistant Senior) were employed on the Program during the year. The Literacy Tutors (LTs) completed the same two-part questionnaire in February and again in November.  At the end of November 12 LTs completed the full year. The 12 matching questionnaires for Wemmershoek Primary were analysed.

 

Part 1 of the questionnaire focussed on the following Personal Capabilities:

 

  • Awareness of own strengths and weaknesses
  • Receptiveness to learning
  • Drive
  • Confidence
  • Resilience
  • How informed they felt about the job market and career opportunities

 

Part 2 of the questionnaire was directed at the following Employability Skills:

 

  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Teamwork
  • Problem solving
  • Organisational skills
  • Numeracy

 

The Senior LT also rated the LTs on the same questionnaire.  A total of 83% of Literacy Tutors rated themselves higher on self-awareness at the end of the help2read Program than at the start.  A total of 75% of LTs rated themselves as more receptive and informed at the end compared to the start.  The gains made by the LTs is significant except for the confidence levels, resilience and being informed. One of the lower ratings i.e.   ‘Informed’ is an area which help2read will address next year by providing each LT with a file which can be filled over the year with training manuals, information provided by partners, information on career and education opportunities etc.

Exit Interview Questions with Literacy Tutors

 

Literacy Tutors answered the question, ‘How did the internship at Help2read benefit you?’ as follows (spelling and grammar has not been changed:

 

“The internship taught me that age shouldn’t restrict you from reaching your full potential.”

 

“It helped and motivated me to become a teacher.”

 

“It gave me a boost of confidence and helped me reach my potential.”

 

“Helped a lot with building my self-confidence, communication and experience.”

 

“To help me get more self-confidence and the trainings also helped a lot.”

 

“Helped with communication skills, how to have patience and how to work with children.”

 

“Self-confidence, time management and also patience.”

 

“To help me get more self-confidence and helped me realize how good I am.”

 

“Helped me build my self-confidence and meet new people. Respect for all.”

 

“Helped me gain patience and to make a difference in learners' lives.”

 

“I became more confident and I can see things from a different point of view.”

 

“Benefitted me in many good ways but most of all that I want to become a teacher”

 

 

Highlights

 

The results from the questionnaire and placements for 2020 clearly show how the LTs have grown over the time with help2read.  The Literacy Tutors have taken responsibility when working with learners and their peers. Emotional maturity and confidence is a slow process for many, the graduating group have used the opportunity to better themselves and make choices for future careers. The Senior team leader and Assistant Senior LT took the initiative in planning of events at the school and in their community and which has led to Jevine Baartman being promoted to a staff member at help2read.

 

The addition of the partially internally mentored as well as externally facilitated Life Skills course has made an immense difference to the LT Program. Lynne Rhode, a retired professional who had worked for the City of Cape Town as a trainer/facilitator, Life Coach and who had lectured at CPUT worked with this diverse group of young people and understood their situations, advised them and made them think further than where they found themselves. The course took place over almost a term and included mentoring sessions. The course has been much more effective than three day accredited training which was included in previous years.

 

A second highlight for the LTS was the 2019 cohort visiting the Grade 12 classes at Franschhoek High and Groendal Secondary to recruit the LTs for 2020. This has been the first time it has been done and was an opportunity for the 2019 group to showcase the skills they had acquired, but also to bolster their confidence as role models in the community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Oct 8, 2019

Diepsloot township Literacy Tutor Programme update

Programme update October 2019 - Literacy Tutor Programme, Diepsloot

Our Community Literacy Tutor programme serves the dual purpose of addressing poor levels of literacy in pre-primary and primary school learners and the lack of work experience in unemployed, matriculated youth living in disadvantaged and under-resourced township communities.  We recruit and train young unemployed adults from within township communities and employ them in a one-year personal and professional development programme to (i) provide one-on-one reading help to public primary school learners; (ii) to establish and implement extra-mural (after-school) and holiday reading club programmes in the neighbourhoods where they live and (iii) to enable them to identify and access opportunities for further study or employment in which they can thrive. This programme update will focus on the Literacy Tutor Programme in Diepsloot township in 2019.


Progress to date

The project has been implemented in Diepsloot Township at Diepsloot Primary School 4 in Gauteng. A total of 20 unemployed youth were successfully recruited and trained and placed as tutors providing direct individual reading support to 202 learners under the guidance of the Area Supervisor, Robbie, an outstanding Literacy Tutor (LT) from our 2018 group. An addition 600 children have so far benefited from regular interactive reading activities through our After School and Holiday Reading Clubs. There has also been greater community reach through partnership with a local Early Childhood Development (ECD) centre in the township that allowed the tutors access to facilitate a week-long Holiday Club during the June term break. The Holiday Reading Club was open to interested primary school children from the local community and daily attendance averaged between 80-120 children. The Holiday Reading Club was hosted at our community partner, Hope Day Care Centre, where the Literacy Tutors conduct Reading Circles to the pre-readers at least twice a week as the centre is within walking distance from Diepsloot Primary School.

 

Term Highlights: Activities and Campaign Events

The Literacy Tutors plan their schedules around the following activities:

  • Weekly session with the Grade R
  • Weekly Early Childhood Development (ECD) Day Care Visits
  • Weekly Reading Clubs
  • Weekly Reading Adventures hosted during lunch time
  • Weekly Friday LEGO free play
  • Weekly LT Book Club Meetings
  • Daily One on One Sessions with children who are part of the help2read programme


Events Celebrated with learners

  • World Book Day: During the World book day celebrations at the school the tutors organised a book making session for the learners which was enjoyed by all.
  • Mother’s Day: The Mother’s day activity was a card making session where learners were invited to make special cards for their mothers or caregivers.
  • Africa Day: Each team held a map painting session representing each country and were led in discussions by the tutors about the different countries on the continent.
  • World Play Day: A special day for all teams as a session of Free Play was held in all the teams.
  • Child Protection Week: The tutors highlighted the rights of the children and discussed how they can all ensure they remain protected at all times.

 

Impact of the Project so far

To provide greater learning value to both the Literacy Tutors and the learners, we retained at least half of the team from 2018. This meant that the older team members could provide better insight into how the reading support programme could unfold and provide peer guidance to the new recruits. This has worked tremendously well for the Literacy Tutors as well as the Foundation Phase teachers. The School Management Team of Diepsloot Primary School 4 has appreciated the continuity element of the LTs and have expressed their gratitude towards the programme and the LTs presence in the school resulting in smoothly coordinated programme execution and events.

There continues to be improved positive behaviour towards reading with learners actively seeking out books and extra moments to read, even at break times with many learners drifting towards the Reading Centre. It is crucial for learners to regard reading as a pleasurable activity as this further enhances learning. Our programme is rooted in building and sustaining a culture of reading in the schools and communities we partner with to ensure continued long term benefits.

Evidence of learner improvement is being collected, and will be collated and analysed at the end of the school year in December, when final assessments have been completed. We have included the use of the EGRA system (Early Grade Reading) this year and we are positive this system of assessment will provide useful feedback on what we are doing well and what we can improve on.

The Literacy Tutors have enjoyed consistent mentoring and self-development opportunities.  In addition to the core help2read training that the tutors receive when they begin the programme, we provide training opportunities throughout the year for self-development and to enrich their work as tutors. The following workshops were facilitated for the tutors:

  • Nali’Bali is a reading for pleasure programme that provided reading kits to supplement the reading journey and equipped them with useful skills to host interactive and effective reading circles and clubs with large groups of children.
  • Financial Literacy Training PM Skillshouse powered by Liberty provided our LTs with Financial Literacy Training. A successful training session was held at our partner, Hogan Lovells’ Sandton Office. Jessica from PM Skillshouse provided the team with an interactive session, a handbook and a light lunch at the end of the session. The LTs learned a lot from this session and we are confident that the workshop will definitely influence their abilities to manage money positively going forward.
  • Professional Effectiveness Presentation which was conducted held at the Hogan Lovell’s offices as help2read has become a YES Programme implementation partner for the Alexandra Literacy Tutor Programme.


By the end of the programme in two months, Literacy Tutors will have undergone further training, including Life Skills Training Course, which will help them nurture the soft skills and personal acumen required for success in a professional /corporate environment, as well as a workshop specifically geared towards CV-writing and interview skills.

Jul 15, 2019

Literacy Tutor half-year Progress Report 2019

Literacy Tutor Progress Report June 2019


Western Cape Literacy Tutor Programme Progress Report – June 2019

As we are halfway through the year, this report will focus on the progress of our Western Cape Literacy Tutors, working in Khayelitsha and Wemmershoek Primary Schools.

A message from our LT Relationships Coordinator in the Western Cape: We have come this far by believing we can achieve our goals we set, overcome the challenges of each new day, perseverance with each learner when they find it extremely difficult to concentrate and continue, looking for solutions to solve problems we face at school, with staff, within the team and having a never giving up spirit! We are through term 2 understanding our purpose and commitment and those who are still not on the path are still discovering their need to belong. The LT teams are more aware of where they want to be and how they will move forward on this journey and that’s okay. Many have grown emotionally and made their mark in the life of the learners they are supporting as well as being the example to follow the lifestyle changes they have chosen. Our learners are now more comfortable with the support they are receiving from the LT’s and opened their minds to new things they are learning, understanding that it takes time, effort, energy and loads of positive thinking to read, write and understand the work they need to complete and achieve to become the best learner they can be! I want to commend the senior LT team for the hard-work they have continued to produce, willingness to put in the hours and hand over the many talents they have to the younger people they support.

Below find the inspiring message and experience from our Senior LT, Jevine at Wemmershoek primary school:

''I started my journey with Help2read as a literacy tutor last year. When the opportunity arrived I applied for the position as senior literacy tutor. It's been a journey full of ups and downs but as I was taught you always make the best of a bad situation. Whenever bad days strike I only think about the difference we make helping many young lives. Over the past year and half I have encountered many happy moments with learners at school as well the community. To see a Grade 4 learner showing off their skill after just four sessions is remarkable to any tutor. To hear a child read a book from beginning to end is worth celebrating because only you and that child know the effort that went into reaching that milestone. Besides a warm bed and food children need love, attention and most of all praise. To see a face brighten up after a simple "well done" is truly heartwarming. I thought I had my life set out but then the opportunity to be a part of Help2read came my way. Slowly but surely I realized that finally I can make a difference in young lives and live out the passion hidden deep down inside of me. To help children thrive is a blessing and even if I've helped only one child throughout my journey it would be worth all the challenges and obstacles that I have conquered so far.'' - Jevine -Senior LT Wemmershoek Primary/Franschhoek.

Progress at the Western Cape LT schools:

Team Khayelitsha

June has been a very short working month and there were a few difficulties in getting learners, since they were writing their mid year examinations. There were sessions observed during the Month of June, because we could not get any children or learners. There were also a few events that took place during this short period of time that we had. We planned for Reading and Spelling Bee competition that was a great success. We prepared rewards for best Spellers and best readers. We mostly focused on the learners that are in the help2Read program. The competition took place on the 10th of June.

LT’s currently remaining at the end of this term

Literacy Tutors based at school 13
Senior LT 0
Assistant LT 01

Events at the school:

The spelling and reading competition took place at our Schoool, Sobambisana Primary School on the 10th of June. We had great support from the learners of the school on the day from grades 2-5. Our prizes for the top three participants and runner-up were awarded at the end of our competition and were nothing else but games and books. The most rewarding part was to see and be in the presence of 120 learners who attended the event. We had 3 judges that helped assess the learners, the rest of the tutors were helping in keeping order in the space in which the audience attended and supported the brave learners.

Team Wemmershoek

Our team at Wemmershoek Primary has been stable and consistent with attendance, growth and learning steps taken over the past six months. They are willing and very capable of achieving their best outcome on a personal level if they continue to believe in themselves and support the learners as they do. The staff and principal are a supporting team who show their appreciation to the support team at the school. During the month of May the team was invited by the educators to put together a concert and showcase their work at the end of the term at Franschhoek High. They did a fabulous job (the first of many to come) with the learners who were willing to be part of the Arts & Culture opportunity and perform with other schools in the Franschhoek Valley. Raw talent from learners and LTs alike was exposed and will now be known to those who attended the concert. The learning points in this exercise were noted and have been expressed to the team.

Team members have the following skills within the team:
• Project planning
• Time management
• Choreography

LT’s currently remaining at the end of this term:

Literacy Tutors based at school 15
Senior LT 02
Assistant LT 02

Events at the school:

Talent show: We had lots of fun coaching some of our Grade ones, fours and sevens for the talent show presented on the 11th of June. As we didn’t have much time to rehearse due to exams, we had to put in double the effort and sweat but at the end of the day we had great success. Our Grade ones sang “Enemies camp” and they blew us away with their performance because for most of them it was their first time on stage. They were absolutely adorable!

Drama: Our Grade 4 learners entertained us with a short drama session about bullying. They delivered a strong message about bullying, the use of substance abuse and most of all about being there for one another. A sober, helping hand and forgiveness also featured which made it interesting, yet funny and definitely worth the watch. Our "tjanke balies” in action Our young actors doing their thing.

Dance: A spiritual dance was performed by our grade 6 learners. They enjoyed their performance just as much as the audience enjoyed watching it. A lot of practice went in to prepare them for a spectacular performance. All of our groups did so well that we were asked by the principal to do another show at teacher/parent evening in the next term.

Overall, we have made progress and our voices are respected and heard at the school. The most important role we play is to have a place to share the importance of literacy in the school life of the learners who enjoy the interaction with a team of young people they can relate to and build the bridges of change, open minds to new possibilities and gaining knowledge to help them to achieve a better future!

Training, Development and Growth

Help2read Period: 3 June to 31 July 2019
Target Audience: 28 Tutors: 15 based in Wemmershoek; 13 in Khayalitsha to be trained at Help2read premises, Century City.
Purpose: to train the above tutors in the following topics:
• Self-confidence
• Self-care (burnout prevention, personal hygiene)?
• Respecting self and others
• Interpersonal skills (empathy, compassion)
• Managing emotions
• Personal responsibility (dependability)
• Positive attitude
• Self-motivation
• Conflict Management
• Team work
• Communication
• Planning and organizing skills, time management
• Job searching skills, CV writing, interviewing skills
• Image and appearance

The journey and learning experience of a help2read literacy tutor-2019

''When I heard of this internship I just thought it was a job for young people. I didn’t know that it would have such a huge impact in my life. I took it as an opportunity, when I was called in for the interview and just went there because I wanted to do something in this year since I couldn’t go further with my studies. As time went by I started to understand the organization, it was such a blessing for me to be part of this organization and help children with their literacy. This programme is special because it activated the integrity within me .I became passionate about teaching. It is so wonderful and also a blessing seeing children striving towards their success and knowing that I was part of their development academically. I have learnt new things but the one thing that stands out was perseverance. I became so patient about everything not only in help2read but me spiritually and mentally. I want to thank the whole organization for giving me this opportunity. I treasure the opportunity given to me and will recommend the journey of discovery to my peers because it is a life changing experience for both learner and tutor. Thank you so much, I am really grateful.'' - Live - Sobambisana Primary/Khayelitsha

''Working with children was never in my future plans and never imagined working in such an environment. Since I started this help2read internship I have experienced a lot of fun learning new things that I never thought I had in me. I've gained the skill of interacting with the children in various ways and also life skills from this organization and attending workshops. Help2read internship opened the door to work with Light Sailed where the children do online reading. I have the opportunity to apply my computer skills by designing certificates for the children that read the most books in a short period of time and achieve badges. I'm also given the opportunity to design posters and certificates for all the help2read events that we have at Sobambisana Primary School such as holiday club, Africa day, and more. I am honored to be granted such a great opportunity.'' - Lindokuhle - Sobambisana Primary/Khayelitsha

''Since I started on the 1 of February 2019 it has been an amazing journey, even though working with kids is not something new to me. I have worked with children before but being in this organization has helped me a lot how to work with children in a humble way. Help2read has trainings that are so good and educational they are very much needed especially to me as a young mom because you not only taught about children but yourself. I had a low self-esteem when I started but those training have boosted my confidence and I would like to say thank you for allowing me to be part of this amazing team'' - Sinomnqophiso - Sobambisana Primary/Khayelitsha.

''I started at help2read from the 01 of February 2019, it was so amazing! I was happy to be part of our first event on Read Aloud day which was so good. At first I did not know what read aloud day was but since that day I gained knowledge, confidence and courage as it was my first day reading aloud to the children. I have gained experience here at help 2read and how to deal with learners especially on those one-one sessions and how to communicate with them. The trainings that we have been attending helped me to face challenges on the days I feel like giving up. Overall it has been a humbling experience and a real joy to work for the organization.'' - Zandile - Sobambisana Primary/Khayelitsha

''Starting from the day I arrived here on help2read literacy programme I was very shy because I wasn’t sure what I was going to face. The experience was new but as time passed I realised that there is nothing difficult about this literacy internship. I have learnt so much in the work place that will help me find opportunities to look for jobs for example; how to communicate with people and young children, working as group and how to tutor learners in English. I am very proud of the changes I have made in my life and the knowledge gained to teach learners because it has made me think of my career and applying for a teaching course.'' Thembela  - Sobambisana Primary/Khayelitsha

''My experience at help2read since I started helped me gain a lot of skills in different areas in my life. I am grateful for all the workshops we are attending to improve our skills. Working with children can be a bit challenging but I can now handle the pressure because of the skills that I gained from the workshops. It is great honor to work for such an amazing organization that grow and expand young minds and including myself to be better.'' - Zonke - Sobambisana Primary/Khayelitsha

''To me it is a great privilege to be a part of the help2read programme and be the reason a child improves every day. The help2read organization has been so far helping me to improve my confidence to communicate more freely and openly with my peers and learners which I was not able to do before. I am helping the children by developing their reading and listening skills. A tutor can't just give a child a book and expect them to read but first build trust in me and help build their self-confidence to make them feel comfortable reading in English and by understanding it. Most days it can be difficult teaching the children but worth knowing that you as a tutor have a positive impact on a child's future. The impacts I have on the children are by making them believe they are better and by reminding them that they can do better because each day is a learning day for everyone. My input on a child is helping them to find courage at what they doing and to become a better person. It has been a great experience so far to be part of the help2read programme.'' - Veronique -Wemmershoek Primary/Franschhooek

''I am Danielle Petersen a Help2Read Literacy Tutor at Wemmershoek Primary. In 2018, I matriculated at Kylemore High. In my primary and high school years, I have always wanted to become a teacher. After my matric year, I decided to apply for this internship, as a tutor to help me understand the basics of teaching and how to work with children and different personalities, ages and circumstances. In addition to see if this is really what I wanted to do as a career. I heard about the Help2Read Organization and immediately decided to apply. I believe reading plays a crucial role in a child's success in life. Ever since the day I have started at Help2Read, my life has changed in many positive ways. I never had patience in my life but being a LT helped me so much to have patience. I am so blessed to be part of the Help2Read team and the children I have been with the past months. The children definitely taught me a lot and I am so honoured to be part of their success.'' - Danielle -Wemmershoek Primary/Franschhoek

''My journey at help2read started as a literacy tutor at Wemmershoek Primary in 2017. When I started the journey I was so afraid and shy and didn’t really know what to do at first. Thereafter training for tutors started and all the fun began. My journey was a slow process but I overcame my fear but need to work on the shyness. Through this programme I gained self-confidence and self-motivation skills. My confidence boost gave me the courage to apply my mind and skills to apply for Assistant Literacy Tutor this year and in a leadership role, I never dreamt of taking on! If it wasn`t for help2read training sessions, life skills and new things we taught I wouldn`t be who I am today and I`m proud of myself and the progress made.'' - Junica -Assistant Literacy Tutor – Wemmershoek Primary/Franschhoek

''I am Sue-Ria Arendse, 19 years old and live in Franschhoek. I am a literacy tutor at Wemmershoek Primary, this is my second year as literacy tutor and so far I’ve been experiencing quite a lot of new adventures and gained knowledge along the way. The children teach us as tutor’s new things as we help them improve. It's been a fun and interesting journey with help2read and the children enjoy themselves with us. My goal for next year is to go further my studies in educare and I’m proud to say I can do that because of all the new skills I received from help2read.I'm looking forward to a fun, jolly and also educational experience for the rest of the year.'' - Sue-Ria  – Wemmershoek Primary/Franschhoek

''My experience with Help2Read has been great, honestly speaking. The internship has made me have an open mind about myself and what I would like to do in the near future. Teaching was never ideal but now that I’ve got the opportunity to be part of the Help2Read team, I see it an opportunity to become a teacher. It’s a nice experience to work with different people and different types of personalities. The children have made me see things as positive rather negative because of the joy we as the LT’s bring to the children. - Sange -Sobambisana Primary/Khayelitsha

''To be a LT is one of the most rewarding experiences in my life .Being able to open a world of exploring to children struggling with schoolwork is a privilege, many children struggle with school work because they fail to understand when questions are asked. When they can read they receive the most out of school work. This in turn can again push that child’s confidence and self-esteem. Keeping them motivated to remain at school and build a better foundation for when they become an adult. The opportunity especially with the one on one sessions helps to see and experience the growth in that child as well as the joy and confidence boost they receive. Every step of improvement is what makes it worth being in the shoes as literacy tutor. I would like to know more because I want to start my own after school program for children with reading and learning difficulties. Reading can empower children, opening a whole new world of possibilities which in return can produce a more mature and literate adult hence breaking the chain of poverty as well as building strong communities and a nation.'' - Inske -Wemmershoek Primary/Franschhoek

''I am Lee-Nay this is my second year at Help2Read. Working at Help2Read made me realize that learning comes both ways and it comes in ways we didn’t expect it. The experience at work is beyond words. I have learnt how to be patient and to understand that not all children learn the same way but that all children are special in their own way. I have learnt how to work out strategies for different situations and sometimes I didn’t know how able and capable I am to do certain things. Working at Help2Read really changed my life because on days when I don’t feel good, coming to work can change a life and that makes me happy again. The children in my care are really extraordinary and special.'' - Lee-nay Wemmershoek Primary Franschhoek
 
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