Learners love literacy

2016-12-06 06:01
A volunteer reads with learners of Disa Primary School during a session of the school’s successful literacy programme.

A volunteer reads with learners of Disa Primary School during a session of the school’s successful literacy programme.

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Disa Primary School in Hout Bay is hitting all the right notes in its literacy programme.

The “Read and Lead” programme focuses on developing a love for reading and improving vocabulary and comprehension.

The programme was started just over a year ago in Grades 4, 5 and 6. Next year it will be expanded to Grade 7.

Learners are divided into groups of about five and they read with an adult for 30 minutes during English class. “Read and Lead is not silent reading – learners read with a facilitator, out aloud, in either a shared-reading or paired-reading group. We use a specific set of books that are scaffolded according to reading abilities, providing learners with the chance to read literature they are able to enjoy and understand,” says programme coordinator Victoria Burnett.

Volunteers from Hout Bay and Disa staff facilitate the reading sessions. “Reading with expression, fluency and understanding are such vital elements of a learner’s education. Reading out loud in the Foundation Phase is a clear part of the curriculum. However, at Disa we felt that this was less so in the Intermediate Phase,” says Burnett.

To expand the programme the school is looking for more volunteers. “Anyone with an excellent proficiency in English can be a volunteer. Volunteers need to be able to commit to at least eight weeks in a term, facilitating sessions at the same time every week. We have 22 volunteers this year. Some to do one session a week, others more.”

Potential volunteers are interviewed before they start reading with learners. Once an individual has been selected they receive an initial training session.

V Readers who want to volunteer can email Victoria Burnett at victoria.burnett@disaprimaryschool.co.za.

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