Promoting literacy in our local schools

Cazlyn Jansen stands with the pack of books that the schools are required to go through.

Readers R Leaders (RRL) has partnered in a project called the Phendulani Book Quiz.

The quiz was started to support and enliven the distribution of fiction books into under-resourced primary schools by adding the fun of a quiz, as an incentive for children to read the books. The quiz has proved to be a dynamic and engaging way of promoting literacy in schools across the country.

According to Marj Brown, the Phendulani Coordinator, the idea of the quiz is to aim at a reading age of 10-13. This is the sixth year of the quiz in the country and now it has been introduced into five schools in our community.

Bosmont, Newclare, Dowling, Wilhelmina Hoskins and T.C. Esterhuisen Primary Schools are all participating in this competition this year. The quiz was launched at Newclare Primary on February 19.

RRL had guest speakers Nicky Sulter and Brian Abrahams who encouraged learners to always read.

Previously, the quiz has proven to be a dynamic and engaging way to encourage learners to read and to promote literacy in schools.

“I am so excited about this quiz because it encourages reading and also there isn’t another competition like this in our community,” said the founder of RRL, Cyril Turton.

Each of the five schools received a pack of books. The schools are all required to form teams in the different grades, thereafter the teams within each school needs to compete against each other in order to see if they all know the books.

All books are required to be read but not necessary for each team member. After the teams are ready from all the schools, a quiz will be set up for the schools to compete against each other.

Nicky Sulter, Dora Motshegwa, Tasneem Akhalwaya, Derek Eastwood, Maddis, Brian Abrahams, Ruth Cornelson, Rupert West, and Diane Favers who are all representatives from the schools.

Principal Derek Eastwood of Newclare Primary said that the RRL organisation has been at the school for five years and that the success of their reading programme builds confidence in their learners.

“The one-to-one sessions builds the self-esteem and you can see the difference of the children. The learners here love the thought of participating, it’s not about the winning or the losing but the participation is important,” said Eastwood.

Nicky Sulter, Dora Motshegwa, Tasneem Akhalwaya, Maddis, and Ruth Cornelson representatives from the participating schools.

The children were told by Sulter who is an organiser of the Phendulani Quiz: “The secret is that there are many stories and you can never get bored of reading. Every book is different, there is always something to read.”

It is not clear as to when the quiz will be held but the schools are in full force to participate in this competition.

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Janice Beckett

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