It began here! Now, progress compels an appeal to the corporate world in South Africa!
The SOUNS programme focuses on pre-school literacy readiness which is the foundation of subsequent academic success. The SOUNS programme was originally introduced in RSA in the Knysna area, but a parallel project started in the Gauteng province in February 2011. This programme has to date reached over 8500 children in 97 crèche and school locations. The success of the programme is illustrated by the speed with which pupils gain letter-sound knowledge, build words, and subsequently, read words. It is also illustrated by the enthusiasm with which teachers and children embrace the programme. This enthusiasm has allowed the RCPE to combine with many partners in expanding the programme. Organisations involved already include The South African Congress for Early Childhood Development, The Khanimamba Training and Resource Centre, many regional crèche forums, The University of Pretoria student outreach programme and the UP Business Unit, The American Peace Corps through their volunteers, and finally, several primary schools with the support of the Gauteng Educational Department. The programme has reached pupils mainly in the Mamelodi area, but many satellite centres in the Limpopo and Kwa- Zulu Natal provinces are springing up.
The original project planned to place sets in150 classroom locations. This project is now reaching conclusion with to date 178 sets in the field. The RCPE is seeking further funds from Rotary International to initiate a phase 2 project that will fund a further 250 sets and reach potentially a cohort of 10 000 pupils per annum.
SOUNS has the potential to make a significant contribution to advance the literacy skills of future South African children country wide. By targeting pre-school children, the skills will then impact throughout the child’s life, cascading on many aspects of learning. Many systems are in place for this to happen.
• The SOUNS programme has repeatedly proved that it is effective. • The communities already exposed to the programme realise its effectiveness and are keen to embrace the programme.
• Pilot programmes have allowed an effective operating procedure to be developed.
• Contacts have been made that will allow a rapid expansion of the programme.
• Support structures to allow this rapid expansion exist but will need to be refined to allow a significant up-scaling of the programme.
Such a programme will have to limit its scope by selecting an area to concentrate its efforts. The benefits that will accrue from such a policy are that educational departments can be introduced to the programme and the early development of literacy skills. It might sound idealistic, but the future was never changed without a vision. The vision here is to give universal opportunity to South African pre-school children to SOUNS so that the future generations of South African children can become literate and enter the formal educational structures equipped to capitalise on the learning experiences that they deserve. The Rotary family seeks a partner in that vision.
THE ROTARY CLUB OF PRETORIA EAST IS BOTH A NONPROFIT ORGANISATION AND A PUBLIC BENEFIT ORGANISATION. THIS WILL ALLOW ANY CORPORATE FUNDER TO UTILISE THE SPONSORSHIP IN THEIR BBBEE AND CSI PROGRAMMES.
To see the entire appeal…please open this pdf file.