Literacy; opening doors and unlocking potential.
“International Literacy Day celebrated annually on 8 September, is an opportunity for Governments, civil society and stakeholders to highlight improvements in world literacy rates, and reflect on the world's remaining literacy challenges” - The United Nations.
At Graceland, literacy is something that is taken very seriously, we sat down with our wonderful Project Manager, Elizabeth to ask her to share some stories about the children at Graceland, and what literacy has unlocked in their lives. Here is what she had to say!
We are thankful to have a space to dream, think, learn and grow. Our library is our safe haven, where imaginations can run wild and free. It wasn't always this way, but thanks to the generous funding from Imperial Logistics in 2014, our children have a loft Library, something of which dreams are made of! Before we had two old bookshelves in the teacher's office, but thanks to Imperial, we have a dedicated space to teach our children all about reading and the value of literacy.
In 2017 Ayanda came to Graceland, he is a Xhosa speaking child, on his arrival, he hardly spoke a word. A sweet, smart and timid boy, who listened carefully and always had respect for others. Over time, with lots of observation reading and encouragement, Ayanda began speaking Afrikaans beautifully. He is now able to speak three languages and his communication in Afrikaans is close to perfect for his age group. The power of literacy sparked a sense of joy in this sweet boys life, he enjoys listening to his teacher's stories and is so loved by his peers, through ongoing support and literacy exercises, he is thriving and it has been such a pleasure to watch as he enjoys the gift of his multilingual abilities.
Ischke, is an absolute joy to teach, she bubbles with excitement and vibrancy. She is a newcomer to Graceland, but she has stolen everyone's hearts with her love for learning and literacy. Each day she goes home with enough stickers to full a page because she is always asking questions and engaging beautifully with her teachers and peers. She enjoys reciting poems and has an outstanding vocabulary for her age, some words she likes to say are, "VREEMDELING", "ARGITEK", "VOEDSELKETTING" and "BESTUURSLISENSIE!" How incredible is that? Her teachers say that it is an honour to have her at Graceland, and her enthusiasm for storytime and learning is something that fills their hearts.
Our learners get to enjoy themselves through the power of play and especially role play with stories heard and facts learnt.
In line with literacy, we thought we would share with you an initiative that impacted us beautifully.
This year we received a wonderful donation of books and other educators tools from the Cadbury Initiative, 11 boxes of joy! Did you know about it?
“Cadbury Dairy Milk aims to help South Africans take a step towards showing these children that they are cared for, and that their delight and development matters.
Generosity is a feeling driven by genuinely and selflessly wanting to improve someone else’s situation. It’s 'a glass and a half' where a glass would simply do.
And because Cadbury Dairy Milk believes there’s 'a glass and a half' in everyone, it is inviting South Africans to show their generous spirit by donating toys to children through their 'Little Generosity Shops' nationwide.” - https://www.timeslive.co.za/sunday-times/lifestyle/2019-07-15-donate-toys-in-exchange-for-chocolate-at-cadburys-mobile-generosity-shops/
Thank you for taking the time to get to know our thoughts on the value of literacy! We are so thankful for each and every donor, friend, family member and supporter. Your belief in education and literacy is changing lives.