Aminah Booysen, at Graslaagte Primary School, is one of 17 Reading Assistants, who haven taken up the opportunity to study teaching with the assistance of the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm’s education bursary programme, put in place specifically for these reading assistants. The bursaries are education focused, designed to foster an interest in the teaching occupation whilst helping to address the national shortage of quality educational practitioners.
“This bursary is helping me to pursue my lifelong dream to help children, either through teaching or social services. I believe that teachers are arguably the most important members of our society. They give children purpose, set them up for success and inspire them to do well and succeed in life. Children are the leaders of tomorrow, and teachers play that critical part that makes a child ready for their future. Helping learners motivates me to do great work,” said Aminah Booysen.
Sharoneale Davies, who teaches children from Pellsrus Primary School, tells a similar story of her determination and long term goal to become a teacher, of some kind of career in education. She is particularly passionate about helping children who struggle with reading. “There isn’t even a library for children in the Ocean View area, which worries me as I believe that it is important to have access to books and to read every day,” added Sharoneale Davies.
Many of the coaches have been able give back to their own communities, as they are able to work in local schools. This is very motivating and empowering to see the positive difference that they can make in children’s lives that they witness each day. This approach extends beyond the classroom to other areas of child development, sometimes into the area of sports.
“I would like give back to my own community where I grew up and found this love of teaching, because I feel that we need more positivity and the strength to go on, which is something that sports can also help with,” concluded Robin Nelson, Reading Assistant at Gamtoosvallei Primary, who believes that education is the glue that keeps a community together.
Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm’s Foundation Phase Reading Coaches Support Programme originated in 2016. The programme, which includes seventeen reading coaches, continues to function in fourteen primary schools situated in Hankey, Patensie, Ocean View, Jeffreys Bay and Humansdorp. The Programme incorporates a number of elements, namely employment opportunities, training and resources. In addition to this, schools also receive books for reading and maths book clubs.