Creating great readers

2019-05-21 06:00
Tamara Lukugo (left), Margaret Mossick (far left), Caylem Adams (far right) and Malcom Kaseke (right). PHOTO: SIPHESIHLE NOTWABAZA

Tamara Lukugo (left), Margaret Mossick (far left), Caylem Adams (far right) and Malcom Kaseke (right). PHOTO: SIPHESIHLE NOTWABAZA

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It has been more than six years since the Help2Read team of volunteers began assisting learners at Portia Primary School.

Margaret Mossick, a reading volunteer, works with five colleagues on different shifts at the school with 16 Grade 2 and 3 learners.

“We each spend 30 minutes with a learner and help them with reading English, comprehension, spelling, building sentences and educational games, and we build word puzzles,” Mossick explains.

She says the learners they work with are selected by teachers from different classrooms. The selection is based on a wide range of elements which she does no want to go into detail about.

She says comprehension forms a great part of what they do and they put their collective effort to help the learners.

“You will find that children are able to read fast but they do not understand what they are reading,” she added.

To determine whether or not there has been an improvement or the sessions have had any impact, after a year, they do assessments with the learners which helps them to tell if the learners are ready to stop the programme or if they should continue a little longer.

“If you feel like the learner is not ready after a year, you are allowed to retain him or her,” she explains.

She adds they do this because it is a passion and they want to give back to the community. She says reading is the gateway to communication and people learn new things every day.

“If you can read, you are opening up to a whole new world of understanding,” she motivates.

According to her, the team does what they do because they feel it is a calling and they love the children.

She also thanked the teachers, whom she described as accommodating and understanding, for their support.

Grade 2 learner Caylem Adams and his Grade 3 peers Tamara Lukogo and Malcom Kaseke shared their gratitude towards the reading helpers, saying that they enjoy spending time reading with them.

Caylem wishes to work in a hotel when he has finished studying. He says he enjoys spelling and building sentences.

“Thank you to Miss Margaret,” he says.

Grade 2 teacher Shireen Moore expressed her appreciation to the team. She said their efforts in helping learners become better were not in vain and did not go unnoticed.

Moore says their learners have shown a great change in attitude towards reading since they joined the team of volunteers.

“They have gained confidence, developed a love for reading. Their phonics and spelling have also improved,” says Moore.

She adds that the most improvement was in comprehension.


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