Literacy centre launch at Constantia Primary School

LifeMatters volunteer Michael Fleming cuts the ribbon to the literacy centre at Constantia Primary School.

A new literacy centre has been officially opened at Constantia Primary School ahead of World Book Day on Friday April 23.

Meadowridge-based LifeMatters Foundation executive director Alneré Turck says a donation that made the centre possible followed a story in the Bulletin about the school’s new principal, Alastair Adams.

A cabin was built at the school to house a Shine Literacy programme shortly before lockdown in March last year, but then when schools reopened a few months later, Mr Adams asked LifeMatters if he could use the cabin to accommodate Grade 1 pupils who would not have been able to adequately physically distance in the school’s small classrooms.

Under the more relaxed lockdown restrictions, the cabin can again be used for the literacy programme and it was officially opened for this purpose on Tuesday April 20.

“The new literacy centre is of great benefit to our pupils, most of them are the children of farm workers who do not speak English as a first language,” Mr Adams said. “During the pandemic, many are home alone on the days they do not attend school.”

Maurita Weissenberg, Shine Literacy Centre founder and executive director, said the NGO was founded in 2000 to help schoolchildren struggling with reading and writing. The Western Cape Education Department’s systemic results at their first school showed literacy results rise over 20 percent over three cycles.

LifeMatters usually has 10 to 12 volunteers working with the children but presently has only four because of Covid-19 restrictions.

The LifeMatters Foundation, a non-profit organisation, was established in 2002 by Meadowridge Baptist Church (now Connect Church) to serve the youth of the greater Constantiaberg area.

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