Reading for pleasure is often the missing ingredient in literacy development. The #Khanyisa programme means 'to ignite' or 'to spark' in isiXhosa. It involves placing 22 young people in 11 low-income schools for a year where they exclusively read to children as #Khanyisa Reading Partners. This programme currently supports 1500 children, the #Khanyisa Reading Partner ensures that each child in class has a reading session, twice a week. They also read stories to the whole class once a day.
In South Africa, 78% of Grade Four children cannot read for meaning compared to 4% internationally. In low-income communities, large class sizes often undermine teachers' efforts to provide targeted learning and reading support. This project aims to provide children in Grade Three with more opportunities to read and enjoy storybooks and readers of an appropriate level. Additionally, teachers have someone to support them with the important task of listening and reading with all children.
The #Khanyisa Reading Partner ensures that each child has a paired reading session, twice a week. Additionally, the #Khanyisa Reading Partner reads a story to the whole class once a day. There are mobile reading corners setup in classrooms with a #Khanyisa Reading Partner. In order to create a culture of reading at school and at home, Creating a Culture of Reading Workshops and Family Literacy Workshops are run to support literacy development for principals, teachers, parents, and caregivers.
With your donation over 1600 children will be reached in 2019 ensuring that more children are reading and writing when they start Grade Four. In line with creating a culture of reading, the project taps into the reading culture of youth as they learn the value of being a reader. In the long term, we hope they impart this knowledge to their families and children. This year six reading partners are enrolled to study towards teaching in 2019.