Literacy is fundamental for the sustainable development of a society, providing individuals with the necessary skills to understand the world around them, access better opportunities, and live with dignity. Can you imagine growing up in a world where you cannot read or write? Unfortunately, this is the reality for only 4% of the illiterate population on the planet, which amounts to around 32 million people located in countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
That is why today we want to tell you about our partnership with the Read to Rise Foundation in South Africa, along with Executive Director Taryn Lock, who are doing amazing work through the #ReadToRiseOnlineProgramme. The program seeks to support more than 1,000 children from West End, Littlewood, Yellowwood, AZ Berman, and Jamaica Way primary schools in South Africa so they can develop better reading, comprehension, and pronunciation skills through quality digital education. Unfortunately, in South Africa, 78% of fourth-grade students are functionally illiterate. However, as a contribution to the sustainable development of children, through this program, they can access the books (written and with audio guide) of #OAKYSeries (written by the award-winning South African poet @AtholWilliams) and respond to different types of assessments to strengthen their learning and skills mentioned.
¿What is it Read to Rise?
READ to RISE is a non-profit organization that promotes youth literacy in vulnerable populations in South Africa. The organization aims to inspire children to develop a love for reading through their classroom programs, and also works to provide access to books and educational materials to every student. This program is offered to children in second and third grade at 47 primary schools in Mitchells Plain.
To date, the organization has visited over 6,300 classes to carry out their program and has delivered over 286,000 new books. “In today’s world, digital literacy is vital, so we are thrilled to partner with the El Origen – Origin Learning Fund to provide access to the READ to RISE online program to 1,000 children in Mitchells Plain,” says Taryn Lock, Executive Director of Read to Rise.
¿How do we do it?
Thank you for providing more information. So, to access the READ to RISE program online, children use the @O-lab App tool from the El Origen Foundation, which allows them to share educational programs, perform assessments, and generate automatic reports on students’ progress in real-time from their mobile devices, tablets, and computers. Because the tool has a hybrid component, once children download the application, they do not need the internet to interact with the content of the READ to RISE online program.
“It’s great to hear that the students were excited and eager to access the READ to RISE program online. It seems that the @O-lab App tool has been very effective in motivating students and increasing their confidence in reading. It’s important to foster a love of reading in students and provide them with access to quality educational resources, and it appears that READ to RISE and the El Origen Foundation are doing a great job in that regard. Let’s hope the program continues to inspire students and improve their education”
We, as teachers, firmly believe that this will develop a love for reading among our students and, in turn, will also improve our systemic results as well as academic outcomes with respect to other subjects. Thank you for the initiative! Miss Smith, Foundation Phase Department Head, AZ Berman Primary School.
They are innovative in addressing the challenges of education and leveraging technology to improve educational outcomes. Their mission is to support educational and leadership development programs for teachers and young people in vulnerable communities. They do this through their own developed O-lab application, a fully customizable and inclusive web/mobile platform that also works offline and on low-cost devices, adapting to any content, community, and language worldwide, including indigenous languages.
“It’s amazing to see how O-lab has quickly become scalable and effective from Colombia to South Africa, as well as in other countries around the world. READ to RISE is doing an incredible job of identifying reading as a key building block for shaping a generation of new inspiring leaders, and we are happy to contribute to this by making their programs digitally inclusive. Read to Rise is the ideal partner to use O-lab, and we aspire to multiply this type of partnership in Africa and the rest of the world,” says Tania Rosas, founder and CEO of the Origin Learning Fund.
In 2023, Origin Learning Fund partnered with Read to Rise on this pilot project and provided 1,000 licenses for children in Mitchells Plain, Cape Town, South Africa, to access the READ to RISE Online Program. READ to RISE relies on funding from individuals, trusts, and companies and hopes to continue inspiring children to read.