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MySchool and Woolworths shine light on young readers

By swiping their MySchool and Woolies cards, customers have raised over R400 000 to help grow literacy and a love of reading.

Shine Literacy believes that words can change worlds. Its vision is to create a nation of readers through impactful programmes that help transform low literacy levels in younger children. That’s why MySchool and Woolworths joins forces with Shine Literacy every festive season to raise funds to help grow literacy and a love of reading. 

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2016 research shows 58% of grade 4 children in South Africa could not read for meaning, while 29% were illiterate. “That’s a staggering number of our children excluded from all the many, well-researched advantages of loving to read”, says Maurita Weissenberg, Executive Director of Shine Literacy. “For the most part, these are the same children who are also experiencing major deprivations when it comes to nutrition, living conditions, health and safety”.

Over December 2016 by swiping their MySchool and linked Woolies cards at till points, customers raised R420 000 for Shine Literacy – that’s over and above the usual support for customers’ own selected beneficiaries, which already amounted to R539 million in the month of December.

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This festive season donation to Shine Literacy will be used to establish 20 reading corners in under-resourced foundation phase classrooms. It will also help provide 2 400 families with reading resources and the inspiration and skills to embed the vital culture of reading at home. Parents remain one of South Africa’s most under-utilised resources when it comes to education, and often tend to undervalue their role in their child’s education.

With the help of these funds, Shine Literacy is hosting Family Literacy Workshops for parents and caregivers to give kids access to vibrant resources. Because many schools and homes are not print-rich environments, every person attending the workshops this year will receive three books as well as a manual full of ideas to help them create a culture of reading at home. The reading corners that are being created will mean that all children in the class have regular access to beautiful books – both in English and their home language.

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Woolworth's General Manager of Loyalty and MySchool Pieter Twine couldn’t be happier: “We could not have done this without the support of customers: by swiping their cards we are making a meaningful impact where it is needed most. Giving the gift of reading to a child is a priceless way to make a difference".