MBDA runs spelling competition to improve reading, writing

2016-10-26 06:00
Some of the schoolchildren who took part in the MBDA-organised reading and writing session. Photo: SUPPLIED

Some of the schoolchildren who took part in the MBDA-organised reading and writing session. Photo: SUPPLIED

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THE Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) has joined the St John’s Methodist Church in Central in the church’s mission to help learners improve their reading and writing by hosting spelling bee competitions in the metro.

The first of these competitions was held at the weekend and was open to Grades 3 to 6 learners from various schools in the Bay. Teams of four were divided into two groups and had to spell words in Xhosa and English.

“Education is a key focus area for the St John’s Methodist Church. Through this initiative we hope to address the crisis of learners struggling to read and write from an early age,” said Asanda Mlata, event organiser for the spelling bee.

“The church aims to contribute positively towards changing people’s lives and we wish to have more of these spelling bee competitions every trimester from next year,” she added.

The MBDA also supports various educational activities and community education projects in its mandate areas. Central, being the heart of the city, is also transforming into a multicultural melting pot of the Bay.

“We are passionate about youth development and want to inspire young learners to realise that they can overcome their challenging circumstances through education, and that they can be the leaders of tomorrow,” said Luvuyo Bangazi, MBDA marketing and communications manager.

“Apart from developing social skills, the other benefits the learners walked away with included an enhanced vocabulary, improved grammar, greater knowledge, and improved cognitive skills and confidence,” Bangazi said.

The judging panel consisted of Anna-Marie Burger, a teacher at Walmer Lower Primary; Bulelwa Mgijima-Dlali, who is a lecturer at Dower College and is a language specialist and Khanyisa Ntanda of the Livingstone Hospital.

The competition’s master of ceremonies, Bongiwe Robin, congratulated the learners and said the judges were passionate about education.

“Burger is passionate about teaching children from previously disadvantaged communities and she plans to dedicate more time giving classes to learners when she retires, and Ntanda participates in a reading programme for kids at the hospital.

“Mgijima-Dlali is a language specialist who is a literacy and community development activist who has been helping children with reading problems since January 2012.

Robin also teaches Grade R part-time at the Ilitha Day Care Centre in Walmer township and is currently studying towards a Level 5 national diploma in early childhood development,” Robin said.

“Events like these will improve children’s reading and also help them build self-confidence.”

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