Literacy NGO launch fourth classroom programme to inspire children to read

READ to RISE have launched their fourth classroom programme in Soweto and MItchells Plain. The programme is based on the latest book in the OAKY series of inspirational children’s stories – WHAT IS HAPPENING TO OAKY? – written by South African award-winning poet Athol Williams and illustrated by Taryn Lock.

READ to RISE is a non-profit organisation, founded in 2013, that promotes youth literacy in under-resourced communities in South Africa. To date, the organisation has conducted their programmes in over 1,450 classrooms and given out over 72,000 new books to learners in Mitchells Plain, Soweto and surrounds.

WHAT IS  HAPPENING TO OAKY? is an intriguing story involving interactions between Oaky, the oak tree, and his three friends. The story teaches us that change is part of life and that change can be good for us. We also learn about the value of friendship.

This new programme WHAT IS HAPPENING TO OAKY? is aimed at Grade 3 learners (Grade 4 where English is only taught from Grade 3). We deliver a fun, interactive session to excite children about reading. We believe that book ownership is important in igniting a child’s love for reading so give a brand new book to each learner to take home.

In 2016, READ to RISE conducted their programme in every Grade 2 and 3 class in 45 schools in Mitchells Plain and 20 schools in Soweto – 450 class programmes were conducted and over 17,500 learners received a new book to take home. This year, READ to RISE will conduct two class programmes per grade as we believe that more interactions with the learners will help to inspire them to read – hence 900 class programmes will be conducted and 35,000 new books will be given out.

We believe that children who love to read, will excel at school and go on to become constructive members of society.

The author of the OAKY series, Athol Williams, grew up in Mitchells Plain and uses literacy and his writing to inspire people. Athol was named LeadSA Hero for January 2017. Athol and Taryn co-founded READ to RISE in 2013 and remain committed to literacy in South Africa.

To assist or sponsor books, please visit READ to RISE also sells the OAKY books – for each book that is sold we are able to give a new book to a child in need. Email: [email protected]