learn to read

How I’m doing my bit to help South African children learn to read


The MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet programme is one of the easiest and most effective ways to help causes close to my heart. All you need to do is Swipe your MySchool card, link your MySchool number to a store card or even just fill it in when checking out online and a percentage of your purchase is donated to a charity of your choice. One of my favourite things about the MySchool programme is how it has showcased new charities and causes that can use my support – which was exactly the case with Shine Literacy.

learn to read

Just before leaving for the Ukraine I found out about the opening of a Shine resource centre at Lerato Primary School in Jackson’s Drift. Unfortunately, it was opening a few days after I was scheduled to fly out. I really wanted to visit the centre because I wanted to find out a bit more about Shine Literacy and what they do. Reading is a skill close to my heart. Not only is it a required life skill but it is something I love to do. I remember, as a child, that we only received toys on birthdays and Christmas. BUT, whenever we were at a shopping centre my parents almost always visited the book store. If we found a book we liked we were allowed to get it. What started as a cool way to “get things” became a beloved hobby and past time. I realise we were privileged in this regard. My mom regularly took us to the library and we constantly had piles of books ready to read. I think it was the best gift my parents ever gave us and believe every child should have the same opportunity. It isn’t that simple though. Which is why Shine Literacy appeals so much to me.

While I wasn’t able to attend the opening the entire experience was documented as part of a new video. Take a watch:

Every year, over the festive period, MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet works with Woolworths to raise money for worthwhile causes. This year through card swipes and selling shopping bags, they were able to raise R420 000 for Shine Literacy. Money much needed when you take note of recent studies. Did you know that 78% of South African Grade 4 children cannot read for meaning? Only 4% of children globally cannot reach this education benchmark – we have a problem.

learn to read

Shine Literacy helps to try fix this. The resource centres is a bit like a library but specifically focuses on helping children who are struggling with literacy. They get to go to the centres during school and work one on one with volunteers to improve their reading and writing skills. I love this initiative and am updating my own MySchool card to ensure they’re also added as a beneficiary. If you’d like to get your own card and do your bit to help, just head on over here and sign up.

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