Kidz2Kidz seeks to promote a culture of reading and create safe schools - openings minds to read, and hearts to kindness...
Many of South Africa’s children are struggling to read. According to the recent Progress in International Reading Literacy (PIRLS) report, SA has the lowest score in reading of the 50 countries tested. What is more concerning is that the study found SA children experience the highest incidences of bullying.
Schools are under resourced in literacy and need to be safe spaces for children to learn in. Kidz2Kidz has risen to the multiple challenges to ensure no child is left behind.
With the launch of Storyweavers – a literacy and anti-bullying project is aimed at sharing reading hubs across South Africa. The anti-bullying workshops called Cool2beKind not only aims to educate and create awareness, but also provide resources to those who are victims of bullying.
The vision to encourage the joy of reading from a young age and create safe spaces within schools, is done by providing sponsored reading hubs in foundation phase classes, as well as providing training around bullying and literacy to teachers who in turn empower learners to create their own safe spaces as well as harness the power of reading.
Kidz2Kidz reading hubs are a safe space for children to retreat and uncover a love for books. Teachers and learners are presented with a new reading hub, complete with a bookshelf, books, a mat, cushions, class poster, a storage box, Cool2Bekind toolkits and a "peace" bench. The peace bench is one of the resources in the Cool2Bekind anti-bullying program and is utilised to keep learners who are ‘unsettled’ in the class rather than send them outside where not only humiliation takes place but no learning either. No child should be left outside in the corridors.
Through the Cool2BeKind involvement in the schools, discoveries show that much of the bullying stems from low self-esteem and learning difficulties which is a direct result of not been able to READ. Many learners in grade 4 and 5 are unable to comprehend what they are reading and therefore are unable to understand the questions put to them, this in turn brings down their self-esteem and self-worth.
Books in the children’s home languages are included, so that learners can learn to read in their mother tongue. Teachers use the reading hub as a space to send a few learners to sit quietly and read while educating other learners with the lesson at hand, then swop around so all learners receive more attention from the educator. Reading builds imagination and is an important contributor to a successful education.
Building awareness and funding for Storyweaves helps to sustain the project and ensures more educators are trained and developed to help more children to read and to create their own safe spaces.