Creating a Culture of Reading

We have expanded our offering to encompass parents, caregivers, and the greater community to Create a Culture of Reading (CCR) in the spaces where children live, play, learn and thrive. At the heart of all our programmes are two simple beliefs that: 

  1. Every child is unique and has infinite potential.
  2. Only by working in partnership with others can we accomplish our vision of a nation of readers.

Shine Literacy’s methods and materials are based on our extensive on-the-ground experience as well as the evidence-based research around what works in supporting early language and literacy learning. Our balanced approach combines the importance of reading for pleasure and developing spoken language, with specific skills such as letter knowledge, phonological awareness, and writing.

How we Create a Culture of Reading

CCR at School

Youth4Literacy (Y4L)
Unemployed recent matriculants (Grade 12) become reading partners in Grade 2 and 3 classrooms. The youth are trained to conduct paired reading with each child every second day as well as read a story to the whole class daily.

Shine Literacy Hour (SLH)
The SLH programme provides individualised support to children in Grade 2 and 3 to strengthen their reading, writing and language skills. Children work with trained volunteers once or twice a week during the school day for at least one year. This forms part of our Social Franchise model where independent organisations run SLH Chapters supported by us.

Community of Practice (CoPs)
We provide peer learning, continuous support, and encouragement to teachers, while providing a space where they hold each other accountable. Our CoPs often focus on sharing best practices and creating new knowledge to advance the teaching professional practice. Interaction on an ongoing basis is an important part of this for Shine Literacy.

CCR at Home

Shine @Home Packs
Our focus is to ensure that every child in the Foundation Phase receives a quarterly literacy resource pack with the objective of having their own reading and writing resources. This is enhanced by messaging for parents where we are driving a ‘read with your child’ campaign using Paired and Shared Reading methodology. Using WhatsApp, we send weekly messages to the teachers who share them with the parents/caregivers.

Storytime – Data-free Mobisite
Storytime with Shine, a data-free Mobi-Site, is another exciting project to support learning at home. The site includes a ‘Look and Listen’ and ‘Read to Me’ tabs which allow children to listen to or read storybooks. There is currently a wide selection of titles in South African languages available with more stories being added regularly. The ‘Sing a Song’ tab includes songs and rhymes and the ‘Things to Do’ tab has games and activities to enrich learning in fun and interactive ways.

Family Literacy Workshops
Family Literacy Workshops aim to equip parents and caregivers with the knowledge and skills to create a culture of reading in the home. The workshops build on parents’ and caregivers’ existing understanding, helping them to value what they know and to embrace their vital role in their child’s education. Tips, practical ideas and new resources enable them to develop strategies and tools for helping their children to become successful readers and writers.

CCR with Government

YearBeyond Programme
Shine Literacy offers training to the YearBeyond Programme by the Western Cape Education Department (WCED), which places trained unemployed youth (YeBoneers) in Grade 3 and 4 classrooms with the aim to provide children with structured time to practice reading in class to improve their reading skills. The difference with this programme is that it works exclusively with children within certain attainment levels and only supports reading in English and Afrikaans.

President Youth Employment Initiative (PYEI) Teaching Assistants
Shine Literacy, with the permission of each school, provides Reading Assistant training to the youth in 2022. This strategic move helps Shine Literacy build a profile, with the WCED, and the Department of Basic Education (DBE), with the outlook of being the preferred training provider in all provinces if required. We trained 420 young people in 46 schools in the Western Cape. The training team provides three-hour training on paired and shared reading methodology, in person or online, with ongoing support provided by our coordinators. This training can be supplemented as the year progresses.