Book Donation Project
In 2009, staff members at the CEA wanted to make a contribution to bettering education at grassroots level. Given the CEA’s strong focus on reading literacy research to improve literacy teaching and learning in schools, staff bought books to donate to a primary school to help towards creating an enriching language learning environment. The school, located in a small community on the outskirts of Pretoria, is designated as a “no-school-fees” institution and serves children of some of the poorest members of society. The school does not have a library, and, whilst staff members try their best to improve the reading skills of their learners, they face enormous challenges due to the learners’ poor socio-economic backgrounds and diverse language needs as well as the minimal resources available both at home and at school for promoting reading.
As part of the CEA’s outreach, both fiction and non-fiction books were chosen specifically for learners in the Intermediate Phase as it was noted that both the teachers and learners in these grades at the school had few books available for language enrichment. The books will be handed over to the school in the first semester of 2010.
The South African Monitoring System for Primary Schools (SAMP)
SAMP has been in operation in South Africa since 2003. The project is aimed at stimulating collaboration between the research and school communities to deliver cutting edge research to foster positive change in schools. The research represents a collaboration between schools and the CEA for school improvement. SAMP is currently administered in English, Sepedi and Afrikaans schools and more than 1600 learners participate in the project annually. Part of the project includes a resource website for Phonics, Reading and Mathematics that is open to the public.
The SAMP project forms part of a study, which is funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the South Africa Netherlands Research Programme on Alternatives in Development (SANPAD). The secondary leg of this project is known as the South African Secondary School Information System (SASSIS).