A reading project that I started in 2016, towards the national vision pillar “An Educated and Informed Nation”. I named it…
The Magic in the Page
Isn’t it magical how we can transcend borders, evade the minds of the greatest men ever to live, join in the adventures of strangers and share moments [thrilling or melancholic] at just the turn of a page. Or a swipe across the screen!
The Magic in the Page is a project that aims to take readers on an adventure that will transform their lives beyond school years.
As a passionate teacher who believes in the liberating power of education I aspire to contribute to the national goals of promoting literacy and life-long learning. Reading is one of the key skills that learners need to develop in order to flourish mentally, academically and socially. While it can be scary to read in class where there are tasks waiting to assess the outcomes of one’s reading, it is quite a pleasure to read without any pressure from anyone. This project aims to instill a reading culture among pupils at primary schools.
The project entails providing materials in the form of short stories, novels, diaries, and articles on various subjects, to be read by learners. Reading will take place under the supervision of facilitators who will also provide assistance where needed. While this is not a formal setup, it is essential that there are measures put in place to determine progress and establish ways to improve the exercise. As such there will be tasks to be completed by the participants in the form of written or verbal accounts. These will not be graded.
Specifically sessions will consist of silent reading, reading aloud by facilitators while students listen, as well as students reading aloud for the rest. These will be done at intervals to be determined by facilitators. The idea will be to break monotony and foster engagement.
The proposed venue for the project is Segoditshane Primary School, and the participants will be students in the same school. Participants will be streamed according to lower, middle and upper classes as per the primary school streaming.
Reading sessions will take place once every week, on a day that the school might deem suitable (during the week). Additional sessions will be on the second Saturday of every month. We count on the ability of the school management to avail facilities on the proposed days.
A total number of 40 students will be registered, and this will be on a first-come-first-served basis. This is the capacity that the current personnel and anticipated resources can handle. We will liaise further with teachers at the school regarding how best we can serve our students.
Ensuring safety of the children during reading sessions
As the coordinator of the project, I carry the responsibility of ensuring that learners are safe during the reading sessions, which will only take place on the specified days and times (as per the schedule above). Only credible adults will be allowed access to the learners as volunteers. Also, learners will have to sign in when they arrive and sign off at the end of the sessions. Regular contact with parents and guardians will be maintained to ensure there are no irregularities with the behaviour of children on days when they come for reading.
Participants in the reading exercise
The following people will facilitate during the reading sessions, and their service is based on volunteering:
Ms. Basetsana Tlhobogang (Founder and Coordinator of the Project)
Ms. Caron Mokgopo
Ms. Amogelang Mogodi
Ms. Fela Mogomotsi
A summary of the facilitators’ profiles will be kept in the project file for perusal of those interested. In this proposal I have included my profile.
- The Ministry of Education and Skills Development
- The Administration and teaching and non-teaching staff of Segoditshane Primary School
- The Community of donors in different aspects of the project
- Parents of the learners who will be members of the reading club
Long-term Goals of the project
As the project becomes established in terms of culture and financial support, it will expand into digital platforms through blogging site, to facilitate learners’ engagement and participation beyond the hours of face-to-face contact.
This initiative is a gesture of giving back to the community and advancing the national vision pillar of ‘An Educated and Informed Nation’. Its success depends on the cooperation and commitment of stakeholders.