The Lebone Literacy Programme (LLP) has developed from a Love Reading Club initiative once a week in the early years of the Centre’s existence, to a full-time programme serving approximately 600 children aged 0 – 9 years in 4 different schools and a number of community settings. In addition, there is a strong focus on the promotion of early literacy, through working with parents of young children, and also immersing preschool children in literacy activities.
The Lebone Literacy Programme consists of 4 main programmes:
The focus of Project Read is on developing English language and literacy skills in learners, and to induct them into a love of books and reading. For the majority of these children, English is a second language, but it is the medium of instruction. Starting with a pilot project in three local schools (George Dickerson, Grahamstown Primary and St Mary’s Primary) in August 2011, Project Read has grown to embrace 4 school sites, with some 120 learners and 75 volunteers involved. A number of these volunteers are B.Ed students from Rhodes University, who participate in Project Read as part of the practical requirements for their degree.
The programme utilises the Ready, Steady, Read & Write programme developed by Wordworks, with the added element of story reading and the opportunity for learners to take books home every week. Parent information meetings are held for the parents of the learners involved, and a Game Pack is issued to each home in order to reinforce what is done during the Project Read sessions at school.
Between 2015 and 2017, funding from the Vestas Empowerment Trust has enabled us to equip 21 Foundation Phase classrooms with classroom libraries. These have consisted of lockable, mobile book cabinets, about R5 000’s worth of books each, and extras such as carpets and book plastic. The teachers in these classrooms have been trained through a series of workshops with regard to the implementation and management of a classroom library. The classrooms libraries represent access to enriched reading material and the all-important whole language experience which would otherwise not be possible for these learners.
The intention of this project is to provide more children access to enjoyable and enriching reading material, in support of their literacy development.
In the belief that parents are important role players and stakeholders in their children’s educational development, the Lebone Literacy Programme has been running a Parent Workshop series for three years at four different schools. Attendance varies, but the programme has reached approximately 200 parents over the three-year period. Some of them have gone on to become Project Read volunteers or reading club facilitators. The material used is that of the Home-School Partnership Programme developed by Wordworks.
Nal’ibali Reading Clubs
Reading for enjoyment, and the motivation this brings to children to read more and in the process improve their literacy levels, is at the heart of the Nal’ibali philosophy. From 2017 – 2017, as part of the Vestas-funded literacy programme, Nal’ibali reading clubs were run for Intermediate Phase learners at three different schools, with an average attendance of about 22 per club. At the end of the year, each participant received a take-home book and a set of stationery.