In a bid to mitigate what has become known as the ‘fourth grade reading slump’, reading clubs are being piloted across Eastern Cape schools, with funding from the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm’s Foundation Phase Literacy Programme. The first of the clubs, was launched in time for International Literacy Day, 8th September, declared by UNESCO on November 17, 1965. Its aim is to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies.
During the first three grades, children are learning to read, but from the fourth grade, they are expected to read to learn. This is a huge jump, with young readers being confronted with textbooks, a wider range of subjects, and more complex content than they experienced in the Foundation Phase. For many children, the opportunity and the desire to read for pleasure is reduced, and reading becomes associated with struggling and difficulty. The result is that children are left behind, and the reading gap increases.
“We would like to help encourage reading for pleasure after the Foundation Phase, hence we will be piloting Grade 4 reading clubs that provide children with an exciting selection of interesting age-and stage-appropriate books, which they borrow to read at home,” explained Marion Green-Thompson, Economic Development Director for Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm.
The clubs will be piloted at 4 of the 12 schools participating in the Foundation Phase Literacy Programme supported by the Wind Farm. The schools include: Laerskool Gamtoosvallei, st Patrick’s Primary School, Pellsrus Primary School and Hankey Primary School. The pilot programme will start in September 2017.
The Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm’s Foundation Phase Literacy Programme funding supports the programme at schools within a 20-50km radius of the Wind Farm. These schools include: Chigwell Primary School, Laerskool Gamtoosvallei, Graslaagte Primary School, Kruisfontein Primary School, Patensie Primary School, Quagga Primary School, St Patricks Primary School, Vukani Primary School, Weston Primary School, Sea Vista Primary School, Hankey Primary School and Pellsrus Primary School