September 2022.

In celebration of International Literacy Day, 8 September, school reading assistants across 10 schools in the Kouga area, participated in and facilitated a literacy competition. The initiative forms part of a larger programme that supports the development of young learners, so that they are nurtured and enabled to become independent thinkers, through boosting literacy and numeracy aptitude.

Aimed at inspiring Grade 3 learners to create and write a story using the knowledge and skills taught to them by the school reading assistants, each learner submitted a unique, original story, followed by a re-enactment to fellow classmates. It is hoped that opportunities such as this will help children in these communities navigate the challenges of a changing environment and build a strength of character derived from a strong sense of self and resilience.

“As we had hoped, the learners’ sessions with the reading assistants so far this year have expanded their imaginations immensely and the stories submitted were clever and innovative. We gave them free reign to be as creative as they wanted to be,” commented Caroll Warmberg, Managing Director at ITEC, implementation partner for Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm’s Numeracy and Literacy Programme.

Learners submitted an original story, which they were required to include at least two original characters, prior to the event. One winner from each of the ten participating schools was selected and awarded with a certificate and picture book.

“We want to see children grow to become emotionally intelligent, self-initiators, reflective of themselves and others, and able to articulate with a realistic sense of themselves and others. This is central to developing the whole child and story writing helps in this development,” continued Warmberg.

To-date the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm Literacy and Numeracy programme, which is active across 14 primary schools within the communities of Hankey, Patensie, Ocean View, Jeffreys Bay and Humansdorp, has drawn in 19 youth from the wind farm’s surrounding communities, to train as reading assistants.

It incorporates a number of elements, namely employment opportunities, training and resources, as well as books for the school reading and maths clubs. The Programme forms part of Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm’s Foundation Phase Education Programme, and is particularly impactful as children are assisted individually or in small groups, according to their ability, paying particular attention to those who struggle.

The ten schools that participated in this International Literacy Day competition are, Quagga Primary School; Chigwell Primary School; Vukani Combined School; Sea Vista Primary School; Kruisfontein Primary School; St Patricks Primary School; Pellsrus Primary School; Thornhill Primary School; Patensie Primary School and Hankey Primary School.