Learners display reading skills

2018-05-29 06:01
More than 40 children from primary schools in Grassy Park took part in the annual reading competition at Lotus River Library last week. From left: Patricia van der Ross with Plantation Primary’s Janina le Tape, Die Duine Primary School’s Avela Thembani, Plantation Primary School’s Aisha Cornelius, and senior librarian Vincent Williams.

More than 40 children from primary schools in Grassy Park took part in the annual reading competition at Lotus River Library last week. From left: Patricia van der Ross with Plantation Primary’s Janina le Tape, Die Duine Primary School’s Avela Thembani, Plantation Primary School’s Aisha Cornelius, and senior librarian Vincent Williams.

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Primary school learners got the chance to show off their reading skills at Lotus River Library’s annual reading competition last week.

Children from Buck Road , Die Duine, Lotus River, Plantation Road and Zeekoevlei primary schools took part in the competition, which saw learners from each school read the same story in three different languages: Afrikaans, English and IsiXhosa.

Senior librarian of Lotus River Library, Vincent Williams, says the programme is gaining popularity among the schools in the area.

“It was very successful, thanks to the schools. For them it is expected every year. Even if we don’t get money to host the event, I will make a plan so that it can happen. We have had this programme for the last six years at Lotus River Library­.

“Nowadays they have a floating trophy, but at least the schools are challenging one another,” says Williams.

Ward councillor for the area, Patricia van der Ross, says it is vitally important for councillors to continually invest in their libraries.

“Councillors normally invest in their libraries, also to build communication and to teach children how to read,” she says.

She says she has noticed a trend that as the competition has grown, children have started reading with better understanding rather than trying to complete the story as quickly as possible.

“Now they are embarking on bettering this method, to make them understand that they need to take in what they are reading.

“That is the message we were sending out. It was well received, because by the time it got to the 40th or 41st person that was reading, they read slower and they understood what they were reading. Some of the kids had different reading patterns and were just running through it,” she says.

She adds that the ward has allocated another R80 000 to the library for the new financial year in order to upgrade some of the resources and material currently on offer.

“We have the scenario where the teenagers in high school are doing projects, but then there are only four computers.

“When they (the teens) came into the library, they could listen to these youngsters and shared that they did not have this opportunity when they were younger.

“It is very exciting to see that the teachers are also getting involved. I know when I was in primary school, the teachers were involved in things.

“I know there was a gap where teachers just were not intact with the kids, but we are going back to basics,” says Van der Ross.

She hopes this project will continue for many years, enabling the next generation to be more skilled. However, she says the reading programme is only one part of an extended focus on primary school children to better equip them for high school.

“We have another drive, the sanitary drive, which we will be doing in the second week of June. We are just going to focus on the Grade 7 learners and how they are going into high school,” she explains.

“The situation around them is no longer a comfort zone. So we equip them physically, emotionally and mentally when they go to high school.

“That is why we are focusing on them, because our problem is that everyone is focusing on high school, getting the children to obtain bursaries, but nobody equips them for high school, so that they are not intimidated and not bullied. We are trying to bridge that gap and that is the purpose of all this.”

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