In 2008, a group of women from Hout Bay who were passionate about making a difference, offered their time to support Grade 1 pupils at the Oranjekloof Moravian School, using the Ready Steady Read Write (RSRW) tutoring programme developed by the Wordworks NPO.
The reach of the Hout Bay women’s work has grown, and in 2017, 38 volunteers gave their time to provide much needed support to more than 180 children. The programme was used to support children at seven preschools, schools and organisations in the valley.
These are Kronendal Primary, Hout Bay Educare, Noluthando Pre-Primary, Hangberg Educational Trust, Sentinel Primary, Valley Pre-Primary and Hout Bay United Football Club.
Many of the children are learning to read in English as a second language and benefit from help with their reading and writing – and the opportunity to listen and speak this new language in a safe and supportive environment.
The volunteers work with pairs of children on a weekly basis for six months to a year, helping them to become confident at reading and expressing their ideas in writing. Learning about letters, sounds and words takes place through fun games.
RSRWco-ordinatorJo Labouchere said it was amazing to see how much the children loved coming to their lesson as well as the bond that grew between the children and volunteers.
One of the long-time volunteers at Oranjekloof Moravian School, Renee De Bruin, believed Wordworks helped children to read and write in a fun and exciting way.
“Interesting apparatus, individual attention and encouragement helps the child to make good progress,” she said.
Noluthando Day Care principal Thozi Takane said: “It made my kids to have more vocabu-
lary and communication in English. I would recommend
any other school to have the Wordworks programme in the school.”
The ongoing mentoring of the volunteer teams and materials for the programme are funded through an annual grant from the Hout Bay and Llandudno Community Education Trust.
The trust was formed in 1998 and has been supporting Wordworks programmes in the Hout Bay Valley since 2008.
Email Bruce Anderson on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
If you are able to spare some time to support a young child learning to read and write, contact Petra Schuler on email@example.com or 082 416 3159.
For more information about Wordworks, email
firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.wordworks.org.za
The website has many educational resources that can be downloaded for free.