Reading is the foundation of education and ultimately emancipates one from their circumstances. There are a number of benefits associated with reading; however, of the outmost importance in the improvement of education are the following:
• Improves vocabulary, develops language skills and improves writing skills
• Develops the imagination, stretches the mind and enhances creative thinking
• Enhances analytical and critical thinking skills
• Those who read are generally more successful than their peers at school or in the work environment The above are critical skills for any child to develop and have been highlighted as key skills to enhance through reading.
1. Promoting reading amongst children, parents and communities to increase literacy levels
2. Create a culture of reading in a fun and engaging manner
3. Turn reading into a collaborative effort amongst families, children and communities
This pillar focuses on hosting sponsored charity events for children homes and pediatric units in hospitals. Books are donated to the homes and each child receives a selection of books to encourage reading, even post the event. During the event, kids compete in literacy based activities amongst themselves, in their respective age-groups. At the end of the event kids are awarded with medals and prizes for their participation. Everyone is a winner for participation!
This pillar aims to promote reading as a fun, competitive and rewarding activity, which will assist learners in improving how they experience education and deal with various challenges they encounter in and outside of school. The emphasis is on driving the message that reading is a key component of education and the benefits thereof. The structure of the respective events for primary and secondary schools are illustrated in the diagram below.
Reading and literacy levels are generally low in South Africa. The less fortunate find books too expensive to buy or those who have the resources to buy just don’t make the time to read. ReaderLympics identified the need to host public book review events for friends, families and communities. A specific book is reviewed by both children and adults through facilitated engagements to create collaborated book review for both children and parents. As we encourage family and community reading.
South Africa has a number of underutilized libraries situated in various communities across the country. ReaderLympics will arrange activities that encourage communities to have a collaborative effort towards reading. One of the Library elements is establishing ReadingCorners™ and creating book clubs among the communities. Companies will have an opportunity to brand the ReadingCorners™ where, members of the community will be encouraged to host their book-club sessions. Workshops will be held with community caregivers to equip them with reading facilitation skills and tool kits; to ensure that they function independently after the ReaderLympics event. This initiative will be in partnership with the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA).
No parent wants to hear that their child is not doing well at school, let alone that he struggles with reading and that his peers are ahead of him. My husband, Tshepo Sefotlhelo and I, Tina Sefotlhelo became those parents. We had to get extra lessons and dedicate extra time to help our son close the gaps. Reading was one of the highlighted challenges at the beginning of this journey and now it's one of his favourite things to do. He would skip words when reading and could not pronounce certain words, even words he had read before. The most difficult part for us was the fact that he could not comprehend or tell the story of what he had read. As a family we had to change the way we do things, invest more time with him in-between the day- to-day hustle and bustle. Reading had to form part of our family quality time. We had to find creative ways to make reading exciting for him as there were other 'fun' activities competing for his attention. I mean 'why read when he could watch TV or play outside with his sister?' We started from reading a paragraph, to reading three books on a good day. The joy we feel every time we hear him read fluently, confidently and reciting a story to his little sister after completing a book; is beyond words. He is certainly not perfect at reading but his improvement and transformation through this experience not only helped him with his development but, helped us as his parents invest more time in reading. This experience gave birth to ReaderLympics, an initiative aimed at making reading a fun social activity for friends and family, more so for children. Through ReaderLympics we hope to share our own experience with many other parents and care givers who share our commitment to helping children read.
9 Lambert St 9 Lambert St
Highveld, Centurion, 0157
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