Changing Lives and Empowering People through reading …
Volunteering is a foundational element of the human spirit and condition. To volunteer is a selfless act by any individual.
Heeding to a call in the November 2013 edition of the Athlone News, for members of the Athlone Community in the Western Cape, to assist as reading volunteers at the schools where learners experience difficulty with reading, a reading programme of intervention was started.
From very humble beginnings, very limited resources and with a few extremely committed and enthusiastic volunteers, an effective reading programme was implemented by Reading and Writing Solutions at the pilot school, Athlone North Primary in Athlone, Cape Town in February 2014.
Reading and Writing Solutions is a newly registered NPO promoting reading as an integral part in the education and development of learners, with its main objectives to:
Instil a culture of reading by encouraging a love of books and the written word.
Promote reading as the centre of any learning process
Contribute towards the improvement of literacy performance of learners
Develop communication, listening, leadership and creativity skills
Develop writing skills
The organisation currently works at 5 primary schools in the Athlone community with a total of 60 volunteer reading tutors, which were recruited from the community. The volunteers include, amongst others, mothers, ex-teachers, ex-librarians, graduate students, businessmen and retired educationists.
The impact of the programme has seen to date learners developing in:
Training and Development
Reading tutor volunteers are required to do a 3-day compulsory training workshop before starting at the schools. The intention of the training workshop is to equip the volunteers with the necessary skills and tools to deliver on the intended outcome of the reading programme and objectives of Reading and Writing Solutions. Some of the objectives of the workshop include; to instil and encourage positive thinking, how to use visual media to prompt creativity, communication and insight; the power of words and how to use it effectively during reading sessions and effective listening skills.
Reading and Writing Solutions have been very fortunate in receiving generous book donations which have aided to the development of the reading programme and allowed for interesting, quality reading material to be used during the reading sessions. Other than promoting reading for enjoyment, the books have aided to the development of reading comprehension, creative writing and thinking, spelling and vocabulary usage.
Author: Samantha Faure
- Teaching Aids