South Africa was ranked last out of 50 countries in the 2016 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) study. The study, which tested reading comprehension of pupils in their fourth year of primary school, found 78% of South African pupils at this level could not read for meaning.
Shine Literacy Chapter in partnership with Dare to Care launched a transformative literacy programme at Chivirikani Primary in Katlehong in February after learning that 96.3% of grade 1s required reading and writing support. The one-hour programme aims to improve children’s reading, writing and language skills and identifies how they can engage effectively by the time they finish the foundation phase.
Shine Literacy Chapter was founded in 2000 to tackle unacceptably low literacy rates in the junior grades, especially among low-income communities in SA. The Shine Literacy Hour is divided into four parts which include paired reading, shared reading, have-a-go writing and games.
All grade 1 learners at Chivirikani underwent an early literacy assessment and pupils who were at risk or below the required level were chosen to participate in the Shine programme. There were assessed on the following: Letter knowledge, ability to write a sentence from dictation, read a list of words and write a story from two picture cues. The staff was delighted to be a part of the Shine Literacy Hour and believe that the programme will have a positive impact on the community.
To date, Shine Literacy has supported 17,000 children. Marilize Grove, Chapter Manager at Shine Literacy, said there are 1,176 volunteers who deliver Shine Literacy programmes to 7,309 children in 77 schools across four provinces.