Retailer digs in deep for literacy

2017-02-23 06:00
Childrens book author Sindiwe Magona handing learners book during the event at Litha Primary School in Gugulethu. PHOTO: MAndla Mahashe

Childrens book author Sindiwe Magona handing learners book during the event at Litha Primary School in Gugulethu. PHOTO: MAndla Mahashe

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In a bid to promote reading and improve literacy, Woolworths and the MySchool project raises funds in support of such a cause.

On Tuesday Litha Primary school hosted the two organisations at a handover of the donations raised for the Shine Literacy programme.

Woolworths and MySchool, an education fund-raising organization, had raised about R420000 by December 2016 from customers swiping their MySchool and linked Woollies cards at till points.

According to the organisations, these funds were over and above the usual support for customers’ own selected beneficiaries, which already amounted to R5, 39milion.

Maurita Weissenberg, Executive Director of Shine Literacy, said that such a programme was essential as there were a number of children in the country that needed a reading intervention.

She said that their programme was involved in more than a 100 schools where book corners are installed in classes and children as well as parents are engaged in reading activities in Grade 2 classes.

“Parents often do not realise how key their role is in their children’s literacy.

So we give them books they take home where parents are encouraged to help the children read.

With the individual attention the children get from our volunteers, parent reading and the connection they make in reading there is a positive impact on the children,” she said.

She added that the reading exercises helped boost the moral of learners and confidence, a sentiment shared by the school’s principal, Sedick Du Toit.

Du Toit said that since the programme began last year he has seen an improvement in the learners.

“With more of these activities we are seeing more interest in reading from learners. We even seeing our grade 6 learners starting a writing club.

Reading has become a cool thing for the children and we are grateful with the improvement in their reading and the attitude they have developed,” said Du Toit.

The donation to Shine Literacy will be used to establish 20 reading corners in under-resourced foundation phase classrooms, as well as to provide 2 400 families with reading resources and the inspiration and skills to embed the vital culture of reading at home.

The reading corners that are being created will mean that all children in the class have regular access to beautiful books – both in English and their home language.

Pieter Twine, Woolworth’s General Manager said: “We could not have done this without the support of customers.”

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