A programme that has been instrumental in up-skilling parents at Intshayelelo Primary School has celebrated another milestone last week. The school held a graduation ceremony for WordWorks Home School Partnerships for parents who have been empowered to assist children with their school work. This was the second year running for the program, what with the 16 proud parents raving about its impact. According to teacher and facilitator Nosicelo Mplatyi, the program is designed to help parents effectively assist learners in their work. “The program is run by Wordworks, an NGO, which focuses on the academic development of young children. Over the past eight weeks, we have had one class a day guiding them how to teach children in their own homes. Parents these days are busy, so they seldom have the time to look through the child’s work to help them,” she said. Mplatyi said that the 16 graduates were all volunteer parents and are looking forward to much more next year. Wordworks’ Asanda Mpahla said the NGO had four programs aimed at the development of early stage learners. “We focus on the 0 to 9 year olds with programmes like Every Word Counts, focusing on numeracy. Second, we have the Home School Partnerships, where we equip parents to teach, and the Ready Steady Read Write, which is designed to be used in Grades R to build a solid language and literacy foundation and as an early intervention in Grade One as well as Stellar Home Language, which focuses on mother tongue ” she said. Parent Thabisa Mathebula said the programmes not only helps her to effectively assist her child, but strengthened their relationship. “Through this course, I(have) learnt how much we as parents neglect our children. I have a new born baby and sometimes I would brush off my child because I am busy with the baby. This has helped me identify those things and be more involved in her school work,” she said. She said she has also learnt to take the child’s opinions into account and be more considerate. Mplatyi said they were hoping to sign up more parents to the program.