NB: For full report including images please see attachment 'Global Giving blog - FINAL PDF'
Meet some of our Literacy Tutors & read the highlights of the June Holiday Reading Clubs in Gauteng and Western Cape
Under the theme ‘Readers are Leaders’, learners in Gauteng and Western Cape celebrated Youth Month along with our Literacy Tutors in the Holiday Reading Clubs. Our Reading Clubs during the period June – July are filled with electric energy and excitement, offering a warm atmosphere and beating the Winter Chills. This wonderful celebration of reading took place in all four LT-schools throughout Gauteng (Ekukhanyisweni Primary School, Iphuteng Primary School, F C Carter Primary School, Diepsloot Primary) and in four of our LT-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 18-22 June 2018, due to school concerns over teacher presence over the holiday break, and others were held during the June school holidays 25-29 June 2018.
Learners participating in our Community Literacy Tutor programme, as well as other children in the township communities of Diepsloot, Alexandra, Franschhoek, Wemmershoek, Khayeltisha 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 lots of ball games, as well as book discussions, arts and craft, 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 team work, commitment, respect, communication, playing for fun not to win, listening, caring and sharing, confidence, perseverance & determination, memory & focus, and spelling & grammer. Throughout the activities, learners and Literacy Tutors could be seen throughout the Clubs/schools, using their imagination and creativity to confidently express their individual talents through various mediums. For example, at Wes-Eind Primary, a talent show was given by learners, showcasing their rights such as culture, language, dancing and reciting their gratitude to freely express themselves as individuals.
Furthermore, prior to the Holiday programme, our LTs from Diepsloot -led by area supervisor Mlungisi and programme supporter Makgotso- were able to convene a skills-transfer training where they shared what they learned from the A Chance to Play training. The ACTP Training equipped them with a firm understanding of Play as a vital resource for the development and wellbeing of children, as they explored the many ways it can encourage learning for literacy and how it is every child’s right to play.
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 Community 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.
Meet some of our Literacy Tutors
Meet some of the young people enrolled in the Literacy Tutor Programme in 2018 that have contributed to the success of these Holiday Reading Clubs.
Refilwe Matomela – Ekukhanyisweni Primary School (Alexandra)
“My hopes for the youth in my community - that they would make good choices, challenge their minds and not be afraid to voice their concerns”
Refilwe Matomela is a Literacy Tutor at Ekukhanyisweni Primary Primary School in Johannesburg. Refilwe enrolled in the year-long programme after hearing about it through a friend. “More young people should get involved in the programme - it’s an opportunity to stay away from negativity and keep safe from crime”, said Refilwe. She believes the whole community benefits when a child learns to read. “Reading helps the community by creating great leaders that are informed”, she explained. “I can have an impact on the future through the children that I tutor.”
Michelline Davids (Second year LT) – Wes-Eind Primary (Franschhoek)
“Grow a love of books and you will break the cycle of poverty and unemployment.”
Michelline Davids is a Literacy Tutor at Wes-Eind Primary School. She believes learning to read is crucial in ending poverty and changing her community for good. “More young people should get involved in this programme to help break the cycle of poverty; youth are the future and by helping them develop a love of reading, they’ll be able to finish school and create a better future for themselves.” Michelline, we couldn’t agree more!
Porche Fortuin – Wemmershoek Primary School (Wemmershoek)
“When a community is able to read they can understand and when they understand, they know, which then ignites a desire to know more, also to be more, and finally work toward something better.”
Meet Porche Fortuin, a Literacy Tutor Team Leader at Wemmershoek Primary. With the dream of becoming a teacher, the LT-Programme provided the perfect opportunity for Porche to gain hands-on experience working with children. She said: “This program is unlike anything I have ever encountered. I’ve learnt that I have the power to motivate a child to love reading and that I am capable of helping a child grow in confidence. I personally would advise that more members of the youth should get involved in this program because not only will they be able to help empower a child through education, they will also realize the potential within themselves.’’
Jevine Goliath – Wemmershoek Primary School (Wemmershoek)
“Every child needs someone to help them in the right direction and if I can help only one it would already make a huge difference.”
Meet Jevine Goliath, Literacy Tutor at Wemmershoek Primary School. With the aspiration to become a teacher or social worker, Jevine joined the programme as the next step towards pursuing her dreams. Not only has Jevine personally grown since joining the programme, she’s watched her learners develop too. “It’s heartwarming to see a child with a very low self-esteem grow into one who participates and can take the lead.” Jevine believes youth can be positive role models in their communities through the Literacy Tutor Programme. “Today we are fighting against all kinds of bad elements and with more youth actively involved to stand as role models to help young children make wise and informative decisions, we can only achieve great results.”
Mandela Day – 18th July – give the gift of reading
If you want to support us in expanding these successful Reading Clubs to more townships in the near future, and thereby make a change in the lives of thousands more children and youth in disadvantaged communities throughout South Africa, Mandela Day would be the perfect opportunity to do so.
This year marks 100 years since Nelson Mandela’s birth. We invite you, our partners and supporters, to join us on our mission to reignite the joy of reading in children this Mandela Day in the #100by100 Challenge. Mandela Day is on 18 July and this year we will be reviving reading rooms and spaces at partner schools in Cape Town and Johannesburg, as well as collecting items for Resource Boxes that will be gifted to under-resourced schools. There are three ways you can get involved and make a BIG difference in the lives of children that struggle to read!
- Revamp a Reading Space: Volunteer your time and join us in creating and exciting and engaging reading space in an under-resourced school. Having a dedicated space for reading that is inviting for learners goes a long way in encouraging reading. Gather your colleagues, friends or family members, or come solo, and make a big difference! Contact us for more information.
- Run a Collection Drive: We need a range of items to help create engaging reading spaces at under-resourced schools, as well as items for our Resources Boxes which we will be gifting to carefully selected schools to help expand their literacy reach. To view our inventory wish-list for the revamp and resource boxes, please click here.
- Donate: If you can't volunteer on the day, or are not based in South Africa, you can still make a difference. We're thrilled to announce that every donation we receive on Mandela Day through the Global Giving platform will be matched up to 50%! Be the legacy this Mandela Day, give the gift of reading! Find our Global Giving project page here.