Get reading for a better future

An after-school initiative to get children reading has been actively making strides in literacy for the last two years.

Run by three local women, the Strandfontein Reading Support Project is hosted at the Strandfontein Community Hall on Mondays and Wednesdays from 15:00 to 16:00.

The initiative is run by Karen Williams, Claudia Kleinhans and Mumtaz Bedasie who all have a background in Early Childhood Development.

“We first started with spelling and site words so that the children could get used to words. Some of the children’s reading is so bad that we need to take them back to Grade 1 level,” says Williams.

“We teach them how to pronounce the words. If they have challenges with reading, we go to the alphabet and back to basics­.”

They work with local schools and on their current syllabus.

“We are not in the class but if the children are able to read, they can be confident in class,” says Williams.

Benadie says parents need to sit with their children and encourage them to read.

“We are not at the schools or classes, so we do not know what is being taught but parents must make time to help their children read. Some Grade 3 children can’t read,” she says. “There are many parents who do not make the time.”

In the process, they also introduce art and crafts to help the children feel comfortable and communicate better.

The children are aged between 7 and 17 andthe programme covers literature and reading with around 13 children attending.

“There are not many high school children, but we are willing to help high school children as well,” says Williams.

“Many children can read, but it is no use you can read but don’t understand what you are reading,” says Kleinhans. “There are around three million children who cannot read in South Africa.”

Williams adds: “It will take a village to change this so we need more volunteers to come on board and assist us. It must continue­.”

The group are also seeking donations of books and study material.

V To get involved or for more information, call the hall office on 021 393 2074.