We at Biblionef are constantly striving to be a learning organisation. A big part of that includes continuously re-evaluating how we carry out our work and its impact on our beneficiaries. To add further value to our book donations programme, in 2019, we began offering additional literacy support to Foundation Phase teachers. Our experience since 1998 has shown us that merely providing teachers with books (or other resources) does not guarantee that the books will make a difference in children’s literacy development.
Biblionef consulted with a literacy specialist to develop a training programme for Foundation Phase teachers using CAPS (Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement) as a basis. Our methodology gives teachers practical tools to incorporate storybooks into their curriculum while following the CAPS Curriculum guidelines. We encourage teachers to tell and read stories to their Grade 1 to 3 children and design post-story activities that give children opportunities to think, talk and write. These activities are designed to:
- Deepen children’s understanding of each story they read or listen to.
- Nurture children’s high-order thinking (H.O.T). We ask children to think, reason, explain and identify details from the stories they read and the stories read to them.
When funding allows, we incorporate this training alongside our book donations to ensure that teachers can optimally use the books donated to their schools.
Because we cannot reach all Foundation Phase teachers, we worked with a literacy specialist to help us develop essential resources that provide teachers with an understanding of how to use storybooks to teach reading and writing for meaning. Our resources offer live demonstrations and practical literacy activities for Foundation Phase teachers to use in their classrooms. Our resources are also CAPS compliant, allowing teachers to easily incorporate the various techniques into their lesson plans. Teachers will see how they can teach children to think critically and talk confidently about the stories read to them. Please refer to the Practical Teacher Resources section on our website for more information.