Thanks to the National Lotteries Commission (NLC), the SBA will be able to expand its Zoë reading project to more than 70 schools in the Northern Cape this year.

The reading project aims to cultivate a love of reading among learners in the foundation phase. The schools select a suitable person from the community who is trained as a story reader. Some of the readers are already involved with the school as volunteers and others are school leavers who are unemployed due to circumstances. There are also part-time students who are engaged as class assistants with practical experience and even retired teachers are involved in the project.

The story readers receive training to equip them for the task and are provided with books that are suitable for reading. The readers are expected to read Afrikaans stories once a week and lead an interactive reading session of approximately 30 minutes.

The Zoë reading project has been presented with great success in areas in the Western Cape since 2011 and has also been in the Northern Cape since 2021. In 2021 alone, approximately 3 000 learners were involved in the project.

With NLC’s grant funding of R385 301 the project will be extended to more schools in the Northern Cape.

Nelmari Kemp, the manager of the reading project, says about 70 primary schools in and around Garies, Springbok, Kakamas, Keimoes and Upington will participate in the project this year.

She says this year we are focusing especially on the areas and towns of the ZF Mgcawu and Namakwa districts. “The purpose of the reading project is not to replace the role of the teacher, but rather to strengthen the teacher’s hands in this important task. It is also about encouraging community involvement in our children’s education. ”

The project will run from February to July 2022 (20 weeks). We believe that reading leads to learners who eventually read for themselves and that the stories of others lead to the development of each one’s own “story”.

The SBA is a non-profit organization that focuses on functional literacy development. Our projects are presented annually within a specific geographical focus, mainly in the rural areas of the Western and Northern Cape.

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