Reading is out of this world at Cypress Primary

Non-executive director of Pick ’n Pay Holdings Limited Wendy Ackerman, read to Cypress Primary School pupils in Bridgetown.

Cypress Primary School pupils in Bridgetown can now enjoy reading in a new space-themed reading room launched last week.

On Tuesday March 8, The Ackerman Reading Room, funded by non-executive director of Pick n Pay Holdings Limited Wendy Ackerman and created by non-profit organisation Living through Learning (LTL), put huge smiles on the faces of 80 Grade 1 and 2 pupils.

LTL, which looks after 18 reading rooms at schools in the province, aims to improve pupils’ literacy levels and support teachers. Its programme uses books, smart TVs, play dough, pick-up sticks and threading activities to improve fine and gross motor skills.

Cypress Primary School pupils in Bridgetown enjoyed their new space-themed reading room.

LTL executive director Natalie Roos said the room would help pupils escape into their imaginations.

“It’s really exciting to be here and see everything come together and the room in action, and all the smiles on the pupils’ faces. I hope that educators will enjoy the room with their learners. This room is all about creation, imagination, about having fun while learning in a stress-free space,” she said.

Wendy Ackerman cuts the ribbon to the Ackerman Reading Room as pupils wait eagerly to enter.

Asked what they like the most about the room, the pupils shouted that they liked the moon, the sky and the space-themed curtains and walls.

The LTL programme is integrated into the national curriculum, and pupils will each have their own workbooks and readers.

Wendy Ackerman, left, looks at the school’s old photographs with principal Marsh van der Rheede.

Principal Marsh van der Rheede said the new room would help pupils master reading from a young age.

“If we can reach out to every child to make them understand their reading it will be great. Parents must start reading to their children from young. Pupils come from broken homes where there is often a lack of nutrition and from communities where verbal abuse and drugs are rife so they are exposed to that way of life,” she said.

Cypress Primary School pupils are thrilled with their new reading room.

Ms Ackerman said every child should be able to read and the reading room was a wonderful way to motivate pupils and help them develop a love for reading.

“Reading has been my greatest friend, and I am never without a book. It is the most terrible thing not being able to read. When visiting a foreign country and they have a different alphabet system, I feel so frustrated. It is the same for young children. If they don’t learn to read in Grade 1, they will drag behind throughout their school career,” she said.

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