MOTHER-TONGUE EARLY LANGUAGE AND LITERACY TRAINING EMPOWERS CHILDREN AND PARENTS
Working with Loeriesfontein Primary School, Khobab Wind Farm has provided support and resources to drive a mother-tongue literacy programme that trains teachers and parents of young learners. The programme has already heralded success, with twenty proud parents graduating as accredited parent-teachers.
The programme that is designed to strengthen language and emergent literacy in Grade R children, between ages five and six years, kicked off in Loeriesfontein earlier this year. This interactive, activity-rich and CAPS-aligned programme, is built around a story-based framework.
Using a resource-based approach, Grade R teachers were trained as the first step, followed by these three teachers then training and facilitating the parents of their class-learners thereafter.
“This programme helps parents to be able to provide better support at home, develop their children’s literacy skills through play techniques and to fully appreciate that they are their children’s first teachers, an important and critical role in foundation phase development,” explained Alichia Beukes, lead programme facilitator.
Following an eight week literacy training programme which commenced in August this year, twenty Loeriesfontein parents proudly graduated. This is a massive boost for literacy in this rural Northern Cape town as it not only builds confidence amongst parents but will have a direct impact on foundation learning, as literacy is a key driver for both language and mathematics.
Feedback from the parents showed how important directed play is in helping them and their children as well as the benefit of learning from other parents. Additionally, some parents commented on the value of learning to be more patient and better listeners, which helps to develop a child’s self-confidence.
To ensure the efficacy, households will also receive supporting resources to aid teaching these young children as part of this programme.
“With the first step being to provide the necessary skills to teachers and then training parents, the next step is to resource each and every home in which graduate parents reside, with books,” explained Vanessa Fredericks, Economic Development Manager for Loeriesfontein Wind Farm and Khobab Wind Farm.
Wordworks resource-based programme integrates theory and practice, giving teachers the 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.
Loeriesfontein Wind Farm and Khobab Wind Farms follow an asset-or strength-based approach to community development, which builds on what the community has, as opposed to what it doesn’t have. Their socio-economic projects include a focus on education, particularly literacy, as research shows that low literacy levels places a constraint on future learning, negatively affecting overall educational outcomes. . It is expected that over the long term investment in education and skills development will translate into increased career opportunities and household income in the Loeriesfontein community.