The last week in October was an energising, enriching and fulfilling week with partners who are engaging with our programmes.
Home-School Partnerships (HSP) parent graduation at Hillwood Primary School:
Stellar training in isiXhosa with the Primary Science Programme (PSP) for new Grade R Teachers:
Ready Steady Read Write Cluster meeting with tutors from partner organisations and schools on the West Coast:
Every Word Counts workshop with 16 participants from 8 NGOs in Cape Town:
Ready Steady Read Write workshop with Intshayelelo Primary School parents that have done the HSP course:
CareUp App follow-up workshop for over 100 parents in Paarl:
CareUp mobile parenting App workshop in Wellington with 60 parents:
We salute all these early literacy champions who work with their families at home, and with young children in schools and in organisations. Together we are changing lives through literacy!
The Wordworks team was privileged to spend some time with Jane Oakhill, Professor of Psychology at the University of Sussex, and Prof Carsten Elbro, an expert on dyslexia from the University of Copenhagen. Jane was one of the keynote speakers at the recent 2017 LITASA conference where she presented on ways to support children who struggle with text comprehension.
We loved Jane’s comment that we don’t need to wait until children can read before we start building comprehension – we can start with talking!
We also loved the idea of asking children what they know about the meaning of a word – this is the way we build webs of understanding about words and deep vocabulary knowledge.
Thank you to the Co-ordinators who worked hard to assess the Ready Steady Read Write Programme Grade One learners at the beginning and middle of this year.
At this workshop, we were excited to share with them reports that we compiled for each school indicating progress their learners made with reading and writing in the first half of the year. We also had fun workshopping new ideas for aspects of the lessons that could be strengthened.
We are finding that the assessment and reports are helping to track the progress of Grade One children throughout the year.
The Early Literacy Assessment kit is available from Wordworks’website here.
Did you know that our Ready Steady Read Write tutor Programme has benefitted 15 300 children since it started in 2005! In the October edition of our newsletter we hear from some of the literacy champions of this programme. Shelley O’Carroll shares some insights about how children learn to write, and there is more news of our work.
I am a Foundation Phase teacher. I was teaching at George Dickerson primary school in 2010 in Grahamstown, when I met Cathy Gush. She introduced me to Wordworks (Ready, Steady Read Write and Home-School Partnerships programmes). I was hooked! The Wordworks’ programmes are informative, interesting and their resources are of a high standard and quality. I always strive to give the best possible education for the learners in my class and I loved incorporating the Wordworks Early Literacy Programme TEACHER KIT into the curriculum. Learners saw it as a real treat when they played the games or used the sequencing story cards!
Their excitement was tangible in the air when we worked with our Wordworks resources and their programmes cater for the visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learners. I even instilled a love for reading in my son by using Wordworks programmes and by reinforcing the sounds or words by playing the educational games or picture cards and post box game. And by presenting the Home-School Partnerships programme to parents, I became a better, more relaxed, more confident and more informative mom.
Fast forward to 2015 and I started working at the Lebone Centre as an Early Childhood Development Co-ordinator and I attended the Every word counts training in Cape Town. I couldn’t wait to start working and sharing the knowledge with the parents. In November 2016 I attended the STELLAR Programme training. I was enlightened and so enthusiastic! I am very passionate about education and I have a ‘hungry brain for learning”!
In August 2017, I received training on the Ready Steady Read Write programme. I could not contain my enthusiasm and excitement when I realized that I received training and have worked with ALL the Wordworks programmes!
I believe all the teachers in South Africa should receive Wordworks training! I cherish all my Wordworks files and I am still enthusiastic and eager to work with, and share the knowledge and experience accumulated over 7 years!
My introduction to the Ready Steady programme was in 2009. I was honoured to be asked by the teachers at Cornflower Primary to assist with the parent programme. I then volunteered for the Ready Steady co-ordinator training where I felt my head was going to burst with all the information! I had so many ideas of what I wanted to do, how I wanted my setup to be at the school. Wordworks uses amazing techniques and I like the way they treat the volunteers. I also received excellent guidance from my mentor, Sue, who was always there to offer support.
In the first year of doing the Ready Steady Read Write programme, a Wordworks learner got the MOST IMPROVED award which was amazing! I used the Wordworks Game Pack with my daughter when she was 4 years old. She is currently in Grade 1 and her teacher says “she is brilliant, and her reading is excellent”. I advertised tutoring services and volunteered at the Muslim school where I used the Ready Steady programme as well. Teachers invited me to speak about Wordworks at parent meetings.
Doing the Wordworks programme inspired me to do a B ED degree through UNISA. I have almost completed my degree now and even got some distinctions under my belt. In January, the principal of Spineview Primary granted me the opportunity to be a Grade One teacher. He was so impressed when he heard that I was Wordworks trained. I felt so blessed. Up till today my job is my passion and I’m excited every morning to teach something new.
Being trained by Wordworks really laid a solid foundation for me to work with young children. I have more patience and am able to bring the lesson to the child’s level so they understand better. I use Wordworks methods daily in my class. Now for birthday gifts I give story books and I promote the game packs at every chance I get.
Wordworks has given even me a confidence boost. I stand in front of class every day strong and confident. People are asking me for advice now!
Did you know that our Ready Steady Read Write tutor Programme has benefitted 15 300 children since it started in 2005! In the October edition of our newsletter we hear from some of the literacy champions of this programme. Shelley O’ Carroll shares some insights about how children learn to write. And there’s lots more tips and news.
Enjoy the read!
34 parents from two of Mellon Educate’s community schools graduated this week with Mellon Educate SA and Wordworks. These joyous parents from Kuyasa and Ummangaliso primary schools in Khayelitsha completed the eight-week Wordworks early literacy course known as the Home-School Partnerships Programme. This was coordinated and facilitated by Mellon Educate, and supported by Wordworks mentors.
‘Much has been said about the great need to make quality local books available and affordable, especially for young children.
During literacy month in September, we are celebrating a collaborative initiative that is making it possible for many more children to have beautiful books in their own language.
Through an initiative between NGOs and publishers, 16 organisations have been able to purchase 12 402 children’s books in six languages for an average of R21 per title!
This project was initiated by Biblionef, Wordworks, Smartstart, Blue Door ECE and Nal’ibali, who selected titles, sent out a call for interest to NGOs and worked with publishers to co-ordinate bulk printing orders.’
Much has been said about the great need to make quality local books available and affordable, especially for young children. During literacy month in September, we are celebrating a collaborative initiative that is making it possible for many more children to have beautiful books in their own language.
Through an initiative between NGOs and publishers, 16 organisations have been able to purchase 12 402 children’s books in six languages for an average of R21 per title! This project was initiated by Biblionef, Wordworks, Smartstart, Blue Door ECE and Nal’ibali, who selected titles, sent out a call for interest to NGO’s and worked with publishers to co-ordinate bulk printing orders. The total cost of books at trade prices would have been R 870 000. With this bulk purchase we paid R 443 000.
This project is a great example of organisations working together with publishers to make quality books more affordable, and to ensure that children are able to read and enjoy books in their own languages. Half of the titles that were printed in the collaborative print run were in African languages, and Carol Broomhall of JACANA explains that “the bulk order allowed us to print across a range of languages and the numbers were crucial in terms of being able to push the print button. It is impossible to print small quantities of different titles in a range of languages at an affordable price”.
At Wordworks, we will be distributing books to schools and partners who use our programmes. We know that each one of these books will find their way into the hands of children whose teachers, parents and caregivers are already doing so much to promote literacy in their homes, classrooms and communities.
We would like to thank those whose contributions to our Storybook Fund made it possible for Wordworks to buy books.