Book buzz bites

HAZEL ALLIES-HUSSELMAN

The literacy programme run by NPO Reading and Writing Solutions (RWS) has seen phenomenal growth since its community notices were first published in the Athlone News.

The latest school to partner with the reading intervention programme of RWS, is Parkfields Primary in Hanover Park. The school was also the recipient of books worth R10 000 from Woolworths Financial Services, as well as a R5 000 book donation from another RWS partner, Manichand Behariral, an author and motivational speaker.

Parkfields Primary is in the process of rebuilding its library and the donation of books, which was handed over to the school on Wednesday April 13, had come at just the right time.

Jeff Paulse, founding member of RWS and retired principal, said he met Parkfields Primary School’s principal, Diana Williams, three years ago at a spelling bee organised by Community Action towards a Safer Environment (CASE).

However, it was only after Ms Williams read in the Athlone News about the work done by the organisation, that she finally decided to contact Mr Paulse.

“After we made contact, I did a presentation at the school at the end of February, and by March 1, Ms Williams sent their eight teachers’ assistants to our training workshop.

“Parkfields Primary School is really an oasis in the desert. It is clean, well-maintained, and the children are well-disciplined. It’s not difficult to see that holistic education takes place there.

“When Ms Williams took me on a tour of the school, it was also clear that she is passionate about literacy. The school has a very welcoming environment with its colourful murals. We had a choice of 42 schools, but with Ms Williams’ impressionable and dynamic leadership, it was not difficult for us to decide which school to work with next.

“This is only the beginning of a fruitful partnership, where we add value to one another. We now have eight ordinary people from Hanover Park doing the extraordinary. Once you partner with us, our partners become your partners. An organisation called Partners for Possibilities, that links schools to corporates, is one of our partners. We have 260 volunteers within RWS and once a month, we meet to share advice on best practice,” Mr Paulse said.

Ms Williams said she wants all her pupils to enjoy reading, and she believes partnering with RWS is the correct way to go about it. She thanked RWS for their assistance in the training and securing the book donations.

“We know reading is a big problem, and Mr Paulse knows the needs and the plight of our children. We can also not do what we do effectively, without the help of the community. We are fortunate that we have committed people at our school, who are actually our pupils’ parents, and have worked at the school for many years. They are here every day. When it was decided to send them on the training, I didn’t realise the major impact it had on them. I also didn’t realise RWS is so big and have so many partners. The organisation does phenomenal work.

“We are so thrilled, and especially excited about our library. One of our parents is co-ordinating the library for us. It is a massive task. She is actually covering all our books with plastic.

“Our school still has lots of challenges, but we want the children to be safe here. We teach them about respect and responsibility, and we remind them that they are awesome,” Ms Williams said.

During the handover of the books, the pupils were also entertained by Abakhaya Marimba Band, much to their delight.

The school still needs some resources for its library and appealed to businesses and the community to assist.

If you can assist the school, call 021 692 1428. Contact RWS on email readwrite14@gmail.com or Jeff at 082 216 2460 or Samantha at 076 368 7898.