Raithby Reading Project Term 1 Report

. March 17, 2017

Dear ECHO Committee,

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to report on the first two months of The Raithby Reading Project, sponsored by ECHO.

I am happy to report that the project has had a good start.

I am seeing about 24 kids in little groups of 5 to 6. I see them once a week for an hour.  My groups in Grade 3 and 4 are going and growing strong and the kids are reading and writing very nicely so far.  I started at the bottom and am slowly making it a bit more challenging every week, ensuring that all the kids read and experience success every time I see them.

My Grade 2 group is a whole different matter.  They are definitely not near ready for Grade 2 and 4 of them should at least have had another year in Grade 1. The school wanted to keep them back but it seems the WCED forced them forward. The other two has more serious challenges and it will probably be best if they are moved to a school for children with learning barriers.  The school knows this and we are in the process of trying to refer them.  I have also met the co-ordinator for Learning Support for the Stellenbosch region, Maylene Basson, and she will assist the school with this. I have realised I have to start at the very bottom with them, as I had a few times where my lessons were too difficult for them.  Last week I did the first lesson with them where I could see some little lights going on.  It was so beautiful and encouraging.

Another challenge that the school is facing is that the WCED decided not the give them a Learning Support teacher this year. The reason being, that they do not have a proper classroom for her. I honestly cannot see how they could do this, as it is only impacting on the learners who already struggle so much.  The school grounds and buildings belong to the church and apparently they are delaying the process of building a new classroom.

I am also very happy to report that I am making inroads to the teachers.  I have asked and was allowed to do two demonstration lessons in Grade 3 and 4.  I will call these teacher revival lessons. It went really well and I had very good feedback.  I will also write each teacher a few suggestions of how they can use what I did in my lessons, more effectively.  I am planning another one for Grade 2 next week.

In this coming week I hope to start a new little group for the Grade 1’s.  The teacher has been very defensive towards me thus far, but she should be able to start identifying the struggling learners now and the school expects her to send them to me.  A big challenge will be to try and do a teacher revival lesson in her class room.

All in all it has been a very positive term so far.  I enjoy the kids tremendously and the time I spend there is one of happiness and success, for them and for me.

Thank you again for supporting me in my endeavour to help turn our education challenges around.

Kind regards

Helette Norval


Category: ECHO 2, Raithby Remedial Reading Programme

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