Parents taught how to develop children’s skills

Western Cape Education Department learning support adviser, Charmaine Barnard, presents a certificate to parent Everright Chauke.

Parents of Holy Cross Primary School pupils have been on a literacy learning curve with their children.

Nine parents have completed a programme that helps them better support their children as their reading-and-writing skills develop.

The parents received certificates on Saturday for taking part in the Home-School Partnerships programme earlier this year.

It was developed by Wordworks, a Heathfield-based non-profit that specialises in early literacy learning.

Wordworks literacy specialist Lavinia Davis said Holy Cross teachers had had three Saturday training sessions showing them how to help parents to support their child’s literacy at home in a fun, informal way.

The Holy Cross teaching team of Carlene Leukes, Feroza Ryklief, Eureka Shand, Feziwe Lugulwana and Nadiem Dollie then ran eight weekly sessions with parents.

According to Ms Leukes, this is the second year the school has run the programme for parents.

The parents should have received their certificates in April but had to wait until now because of Covid-19.

Ms Davis said it was motivating for parents to realise they were their child’s first teacher.

“What is so good is that parents are able to work in the materials of their mother tongue,” she said.

Everright Chauke’s son, Jediah, is in Grade 1, and she said the programme had helped give her more patience when helping him with homework.

“It taught us how to read short stories with our children, how to do drawings with them, and he is responding well to me assisting with his literacy homework.”

Ms Ryklief said that thanks to the programme, parents were better able to help their children with projects and homework.

“We teach them how to introduce sound, reading and writing, and most pupils whose parents attended this programme have shown an improvement in their literacy.”

Ms Leukes said with basic literacy-support training under their belts, parents could go on to help not only their children but others in the community.

“With the certificate, some parents feel motivated to study in the direction of early childhood development, and then there are those who have offered to come back and serve as reading assistants,” she said.

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