Reading and writing skills need to be developed

Mpumelelo Primary School learners joined by school teachers and EMPD officers marching the street of Tswelopele Extension on August 31 reviving reading to the community.

In support of the National Read to Lead Campaign, learners and staff members of Mpumelelo Primary School took to the street on August 31 to march to revive the love of reading in the community.

The march was led by the school principal, Ntombifuthi Mhlongo, and was backed by members of Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Police Department (EMPD) who controlled road traffic and ensured the safety of the learners.

Mpumelelo Primary School officially welcomed the campaign by launching ‘September, the Month of Reading’ at the school on the day.

Read to Lead Campaign was officially launched on July 22, 2015 and will continue for the next two years until 2019.

The focus of the campaign is to improve the reading abilities of all South African children whilst the main aim of the campaign is to ensure that all learners are able to demonstrate age appropriate levels of reading by 2019.

Whilst the improvement in learner achievement is an important aim of the campaign, children should be motivated to make reading a lifestyle choice.

Learners were seen reading out loud their academic language books at DM Marokane traffic lights before they could return to their school.

From the school, the learners walked to the DM Marokane traffic lights whilst reading their academic story books in various languages including Sepedi, Zulu, Xhonga and English.

HOD for languages, Eric Kobjana, said they are working hard to change learners’ attitudes towards reading and want them to be passionate about this critical skill.

“We are inspiring our learners to read more and make reading part of their an everyday lifestyle. This will help them gain knowledge and get information from whatever source. Parents should be involved in the education of their children and check their school work, read them stories and assist them to write more often. To ensure that parents get involved, we will ask learners to ask their parents to sign the pages they have read,” said Kobjana.

Kobjana added they want to link the Read to Lead Campaign to writing, to encourage learners to start writing their own stories and to enhance their writing.

Learners of Mpumelelo Primary School reading out loud joined by the school officials.

Meanwhile the school principal, Ntombifuthi Mhlongo, said they will follow every step of the campaign and support their learners when it comes to increasing the speed of their writing and reading.

“On September 8, which is World Literacy Day, we are going to ‘drop all and read’ from 8.30 am to 9 am. This will include everyone at the school from security guards to school officials. September 15 will be a Dress Up Day, which will see learners dressed according to a character of their choice. Learners have already formed reading groups – especially the Grade Sixes and Sevens,” said Mhlongo.

Mhlongo emphasised that learners were excited about the campaign and looking forward to make reading a daily habit.

“We would appreciate organisations and companies to donate story books. We are a no fee school and most learners come from disadvantaged families,” added Mhlongo.

Mpumelelo Primary School caters for 1 828 learners from Grade R to Grade Seven.

Malebo Tseke

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