Class Act Educational Services is a Johannesburg based NGO, currently implementing a sustainable community development project in four rural sites in South Africa.
Two of our sites are based in the Limpopo Province: Waschbank and Xigalo Villages; one site is in KwaZulu Natal: Emtshezi; and our fourth site is in the Eastern Cape: Amantshangase Village.
At each site we have established a community centre, equipped with a library, computer centre, craft centre and a training classroom. Each centre is staffed by a Community Based Worker, two IT Assistants, and many volunteers.
The main goals of this project are to strengthen the spirit of community and to work with community members to improve levels of literacy (including the new literacies associated with the Internet), care and economic activity.
One of our main foci at this time is improving levels of literacy amongst young learners, specifically, Grades 1 - 3. As an organization, Class Act has been involved in Foundation Phase Literacy Projects for the past 5 years, working in rural schools to upskill teachers and school managers. Through this work, we have developed a phonics and reading programme in the four languages of our current sites, namely, isiZulu, isiXhosa, XiTsonga and Sepedi.
As these African languages are all phonetic, we have taken a phonics based approach to teaching reading. Our programme is designed to introduce a new phonetic sound, a series of words built from taught sounds, and a story that includes the taught words every week.
This programme has been formatted as a series of three reading books per language, one for each grade. We are currently running a competition at the sites to find young people capable of illustrating the stories effectively, who will then be contracted and paid to illustrate our books.
Once the books are printed, Class Act will provided extensive training and support to all relevant educators in our villages on the effective use of this literacy programme.
We would like you to support our project by paying for the printing and distribution of these books, so that each and every Grade 1, 2 or 3 learner in our villages has a mother tongue reading book of his or her own.
Literacy levels amongst rural South African children are extremely low, mainly due to a lack of access to any reading materials at all, and more specifically, lack of access to a reading programme in their own language. Please support this worthwhile cause - help us to put an effective reading programme in place for some of the most marginalized children in South Africa.
"Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farmworkers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another."