Reading aid gives kids ‘real value’

2016-02-09 06:00

After opening the door to education for thousands of children, non-profit organisation Help2read is celebrating a decade of service.

The programme started at Muizenberg Junior School.

Since its opening in February 2006, over 10 000 children have benefited from the programme, which now runs at 61 schools across the country.

Pupils in the Help2read programme receive one-on-one tutoring by a volunteer twice a week, for 30 minutes at a time.

Just over 10 years ago, Marielle Moss, accompanied by her dog Maya, left the United Kingdom and moved to Cape Town to start up Help2read.

Armed with a training video and fixed determination, Moss started recruiting volunteers for Help2­read, set up by her father Alex Moss.

Help2read’s main aim is to address the problem of child illiteracy in South Africa.

Ten years and more than 10 000 literate children later, Moss, her parents and Dee Cawcutt, then principal of Muizenberg Junior, returned to the school where it all started to celebrate.

The programme works with pupils who need help with reading, as identified by their teachers. Volunteers spend time with them at the school, outside of the classroom, playing and reading.

This one-on-one attention adds real value to their lives, as well as the lives of others. The children’s reading improves, and so does their self-esteem, resulting in all-round academic improvement, Moss says.

The programme is now growing in schools across the Western Cape.

Help2read has introduced a new programme in which unemployed matriculants spend a year helping children at their local community schools.

V To get involved email info@­help2­read.­org or visit

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