Demonstrating commitment to ongoing intervention in early grade reading!
The Imperial & Motus Community Trust, founded by Imperial Holdings (today known as Imperial, a DP World company) and Motus, today unveiled its 70th library and resource centre at the Ikokobetseng Primary School in Vanderbijlpark, Sedibeng District. Over the past 18 years, the Trust has committed to increasing reading skills and access to learning resources in underserved communities as part of their commitment to sustainable literacy intervention, and today’s unveiling is a great milestone towards the Trust’s goal of 100 libraries by 2025.
While the initiative was originally aimed at improving mathematics and science results of learners in township schools, the need to focus on developing literacy and reading skills through a comprehensive literacy intervention programme also became apparent. In fact, the lack of these literacy skills was identified as a key hinderance to the successful adoption of other skills.
“The ability to read for meaning in early childhood in South Africa has declined significantly. As a result, interventions aimed at promoting reading for meaning in early childhood can play a vital role in addressing these challenges and developing young minds for healthy and successful futures” says Esha Mansingh, Board Member for the Imperial & Motus Community Trust and Head of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability for sub-Saharan Africa at DP World (Imperial’s parent company). “The Imperial & Motus Community Trust programme is also about making such centres accessible to the broader communities, encouraging community participation in literacy programmes and successes, and I congratulate the Trust on its 70th library and resource centre milestone.”
Ikokobetseng Primary school’s library and resource centre will serve learners in Grade R to Grade 7, and is equipped with barcoded books, teaching aids, sports equipment, charts, board games, and computers with computer-based programmes. Additionally, the library also comes with a whiteboard, chairs, desks, carpeted reading areas, as well as two training rooms, and will be managed by a trained librarian assistant.
Mr George Mokoena, Principal at Ikokobetseng Primary School, says: “We are honoured to be a beneficiary of this programme and believe that the library and resource centre will have a fundamental impact on not just their school, but community at large. We are grateful to the Imperial & Motus Community Trust for partnering with our school and providing a fully packaged centre with the required support to ensure its sustainability – without adding pressure to our current systems, but rather, supporting it, making for an improved and more efficient learning environment”.
“Our commitment through the Trust, is to find ways in which to impact the educational journey of children in South Africa and provide support for their future success in life. We have therefore committed to a fully comprehensive literacy programme at Ikokobetseng Primary School, which aims to address grassroot level skills and provides the necessary learning environment and tools, to promote healthy educational development for learners in underserved communities,” added Shayda Arbee, also a Board Member for the Imperial & Motus Community Trust.