Chivirikani Primary school in Katlehong, Johannesburg welcomed a transformative literacy programme through its doors.
With an overwhelming 96.3% of the school’s grade ones requiring reading and writing support, the Shine Literacy Chapter<http://www.shineliteracy.org.za/what-we-do/#chapters> aims to help the children to engage effectively with learning by the time they finish their Foundation Phase of schooling.
South Africa ranked last out of 50 countries in the 2016 Progress in International Reading Progress in International Literacy (PIRLS) study.<https://www.up.ac.za/media/shared/164/ZP_Files/pirls-literacy-2016_grade-4_15-dec-2017_low-quality.zp137684.pdf>
The study, which tested reading comprehension of learners in their fourth year of primary school, found that 78% of South African pupils at this level could not read for meaning.
The Wordworks Early Literacy Assessment (WELA) was administrated to all grade one children at Chivirikani Primary School to test and select learners who are at risk or below the required level of literacy to participate in the Shine programme. Letter knowledge, ability to write a sentence from dictation, read a list of words and write a story from two picture cues form part of the assessment.
Mr. Maluleke, principal of Chivirikani Primary school, welcomes the Shine Literacy Hour to improve the literacy of its learners and believes it will have a positive impact on the community in terms of the admission of future learners to the school.
Marilize Grove, Chapter Manager from Shine Literacy, notes that there are currently 1 176 volunteers who deliver Shine Literacy programmes to 7 309 children in 77 schools across four provinces and that since 2007, Shine Literacy has supported 17 000 children.
A non-profit organisation, Shine Literacy was founded in 2000 to tackle South Africa’s unacceptably low literacy rates with a focus on developing the reading, writing and language skills of grade two and three learners from low-income communities. The Shine Literacy hour, endorsed by the Western Cape Education Department, is a carefully structured session divided into four parts which include paired reading, shared reading, have-a-go writing and world play (games).
Shine Literacy assessments consistently affirm significant improvements in reading and writing for children who have attended the Shine Literacy Hour.