Roger Federer recently slipped into South Africa to celebrate the work being done through the Roger Federer Foundation's Growing to READ Early Childhood Development programme in Limpopo. Federer, on Tuesday, February 19, visited the Govhu crèche, in Thohoyandou's Govhu village.
© Roger Federer Foundation
The event was hosted jointly by the Roger Federer Foundation and the READ Educational Trust. While here, Federer paid a visit to the Hlukani crèche - where he spent time with the children and those involved with the Growing to READ programme.
READ, an NGO established in 1979, is active throughout South Africa, from remote rural villages to the teeming cities, with literacy as its only objective. The organisation provides schools with essential materials and trains educators in how to teach children to read and write. READ also trains carers to help with the children's early development, supplying both material and toys.
While READ's initial objective was to establish libraries in Soweto schools, today the NGO works in close co-operation with the education ministry, private donors and directly with schools. The Roger Federer Foundation
Since 2010, the Roger Federer Foundation has been supporting the Limpopo Growing to READ project to give children of this impoverished province a better start to their schooling: early development increases the learning potential. Here the children are taught the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic.
In 2011 the programme was expanded to the Grade R level - the pre-school year children have to pass before starting primary school. Importantly, parents are being involved through special workshops where they discover how to help with their children's education.
Due to the excellent results of the first two years, READ is now able to extend the programme to another 25 crèches. The Limpopo programme encompasses:
- Establishing and supporting 40 day care centres and 15 Grade R-level classes. Children will then move successfully from day care centres to Grade R-level, and then on to primary school,
- Providing infrastructure, practical games, materials and equipment,
- Training specialists and providing advanced training for teachers,
- Hosting regular parent seminars, and
- Absorption into the national education system and imbuing locals with the importance of early education.
For more information, go to www.read.org.za