16 February 2011
Dear Robin and the Rotary Club of Pretoria East,
I can hardly believe how quickly the time has passed in 2011. As an NGO, the year commenced with a tremendous ‘bang’ along with exciting new projects that come with their own workload attached. I must confess that I have been intending to contact you sooner, please forgive me.
Congratulations with the Global Grant that has allowed you to introduce the Souns Literacy Programme to the schools in and around Pretoria. Since Brenda let me know that the Grant was approved, I have been overjoyed at the prospects of what Souns could possibly achieve in the Créches and ECD Centres who will be gifted this programme, because of what this means for the teachers and the children in your communities.
Witnessing the power of the programme in action since late 2009 and since meeting Brenda and listening to, and observing her share Souns and her passion for this simplistic, yet highly effective literacy programme has often rendered me speechless. Through proper training and a mentoring process, this programme allows children from 6 months of age to literally take hold of the symbols of their language and gain knowledge in bite-size chunks, thereby accrue permanent understanding of the letter sound and shape through interacting with them in a
non-threatening environment. Through solid sound knowledge, the possibilities are endless, and to this I bear witness.
The programme also allows teachers a tool that is easy to introduce and is user-friendly and it affords them an opportunity to spend one-on-one time with the children, allowing positive reinforcement and praise, this is something I hold very dear.
Through the Knysna Education Trust, we have introduced Souns to 23 ECD Centres incorporating just over 1100 children. Our communities’ languages include Afrikaans, Xhosa and English. Our first learners have now entered Grade 1 classrooms at Government schools and I am set to have appointments to meet with these teachers toward the end of March in order to dicuss the outcomes of the programme through observing those children who had access to the programme prior to 2011, and getting their feedback.
I have so much to share regarding Souns introduction, implementation and the process and progress. Please know that I am sold-out on this programme and support and endorse Souns for our children and the communities at large.
I do hope to share in the literacy and life-changing adventure that you are embarking on and I only wish that from the outset, all those involved will fully grasp the worth of the gift in their hands. I wish you everything of the best for the launch on Saturday and wish that I could have been with you. I look forward to meeting you sometime in the future.