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Contribute to the development of early language and literacy in South Africa.

Our Early Literacy Programmes

We offer five programmes, focussing on children’s first eight years, which are used by our network of partners. These include preschools, schools, libraries, community organisations, training and resource NGOs, tertiary institutions, education districts and other government departments.
  • training volunteers to assist young children as they learn to read and write through the Ready Steady Read Write Programme
  • empowering parents to support learning in the home through the Home-School Partnerships Programme
  • providing training and resources for teachers to strengthen literacy teaching in Grade R (Stellar Home Language)
  • giving parents and caregivers of babies and young children practical ideas to build language and encourage learning in a loving, supportive way in the Every Word Counts Programme
  • training trainers to offer a resource-based programme to pre-Grade R teachers in the Little Stars Programme.

Please click on the tabs in this section to get an overview of each one.

This programme is designed to facilitate a learning space for parents in which to share knowledge and ideas about children’s language and early literacy development. The programme builds co-operation between families and schools, and encourages parents in their role as their children’s first teachers.
Wordworks trains, provides resources and mentors teachers to facilitate weekly workshops for groups of parents of children aged four to eight years. The workshops run for 2½ hours a week over eight weeks. 

This programme is for parents and caregivers of children aged 4-8 years. More information ….

This programme is designed for Grade R to build a solid language and literacy foundation and as an early intervention in Grade One. It can also be used to support Grade Two and Three children to learn to speak, read and write in a second language.
Wordworks trains and mentors site Co-ordinators who manage and support tutors to work with pairs of children, on a weekly basis for at least six months. Many of the tutors are women who volunteer from local school communities. No qualifications are required.

This programme is for tutors working with children aged 5-8 years. More information…

This programme is designed to strengthen language and emergent literacy in Grade R classrooms. It is interactive, activity-rich and CAPS-aligned and is built around a 2-week story-based framework.
Wordworks trains trainers to offer this resourcebased programme to Grade R teachers. The teacher training integrates theory and practice, giving opportunity for reflection and planning. It deepens teachers’ understanding of the vital role they play in
building language and literacy, and equips them to partner with parents.

The programme is for Grade R teachers working with children aged 5 – 6 years. More information …

This programme can be used across a range of community settings to introduce those who care for and work with babies and young children to new knowledge about early learning and practical ideas for supporting the development of language, early literacy and maths concepts, from birth to 5 years of age.

Wordworks trains trainers and equips organisations to integrate the programme and resources into their work with parents and caregivers through home visits or parenting group sessions. ECD practitioners and playgroup facilitators can use what they learn through Every Word Counts in their daily interactions with children in pre-schools and playgroups.

This programme is for parents and caregivers of babies and children up to 5 years of age.  More information …


The programme is designed to strengthen language and emergent literacy in pre-Grade R classrooms. It is interactive, activity-rich, NCF-aligned and is built around a 2-week story-based framework.Wordworks trains trainers to offer this resource-based programme to pre-Grade R teachers. The teacher training integrates our Every Word Counts Programme core training so that the Little Stars focused teaching time is part of a holistic approach to building strong language across the daily programme.The Little Stars Language programme is for pre-Grade R teachers working with children aged 4–5 years. Read more


Featured Story

Playing and Learning

Did you know there are many ways to build your young child’s language skills at home?

Did you know families have a very important role to play in children’s early reading and writing?

Wordworks has developed over 60 early literacy activities for children from 3 to 8 years old – specially made for you to use at home.

They are free, informal and fun – and are available in audio and text in English, Afrikaans, isiXhosa and isiZulu.

Find them on our datafree website:

Try them. Even a little time every day with your child will make a big difference. 

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