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June 2016
FunDza... Sparking a Reading Revolution in South Africa
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FunDza hosted six girl learners from Matthew Goniwe High School for Cell C's Bring a Girl Child to Work Day.
They had fun! We did too!

Report underscores the importance of reading

An important report was released in Stellenbosch last month: "Laying Firm Foundations: Getting reading right", compiled by a team of researchers at RESEP for the Zenex Foundation. The report underscored the importance of reading, and the need to get reading right as early as possible - specifically in the foundation phase. Reading opens the door to all further learning. And, conversely, the inability to read and write is a major inhibitor of further learning. 

Without a doubt an analysis of the current situation in South Africa is dire. The report found that less than half of students have learnt to read for meaning by the end of grade 3. The researchers state that this weak foundation is 'one of the major factors leading to poor learning outcomes in later grades'. This timely report serves as a reminder of the urgency with which we must view our work in literacy. Some of the discussions at the launch highlighted the impact of quality materials, which is what we support at FunDza, and called for more investigation into multi-lingual support, which is something we are interested in investigating further. Here is the link to the report itself.

FunDza staff have been out and about this last month... and we've had lots of visits from others to our office too! One of the exciting things was hosting six girls from Matthew Goniwe Memorial High School for Cell C's 'Take a girl child to work day'. We loved having their youthful energy and enthusiasm in our office and it gave us the chance to share our love of reading and, hopefully, grow some lifelong readers in the process. Read all about it here.

There's more too... an unforgettable Egyptian experience sharing what we've learned with educators and technologists across Africa, a trip to Durban to meet beneficiaries, a journey to Franschhoek taking False Bay College students to the festival... and throughout it all we continued to deliver books, run workshops, publish content online, give feedback to writers and much much more.

See what's in our calendar for the month of June and stay up to date with our news through the links below.

With love and gratitude,
Mignon, Dorothy, Ros, Zimkhitha, Phoebe, Nandi, Ndibulele, Sonja, Dumisa, Siki, Xolisa, Lebo, Baleseng, Andrew, Rethabile and Steve

Preparing for her presentation at eLearning Africa in Cairo entailed analysing readers' comments about the impacts of FunDza on their lives. Mignon got inspired (yet again).  Read more...
Thirty lucky students from False Bay College, Fish Hoek and Khayelitsha, joined us at the Franschhoek Literary Festival to hear a range of authors speak about writing and books. Read more...
Trinity Munro hopes to enter the publishing/writing industry one day. She spent a couple of days with us learning the ropes and helping out. Zimkhitha was impressed... Read more...
According to the student library monitors at Sithengile High School having FunDza books on hand has turned the library into a 'mad-house'. Everyone wants to get their hands on one! Read more...
Writing good essays: it's vital for school (and life) to learn how to write well. Often learners aren't taught how to do this. FunDza's 'Writing Good Essays' workshop bridges the gap. Read more...
Dumisa Mbuwa is a new FunDza staff member. He's learning the ropes by helping facilitate our writing workshops. Already he's finding his voice - and helping others find theirs. Read more...
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