GROW Educare Centre classrooms across the country will soon benefit from beautiful wordless picture books paired with research-backed book-sharing principles thanks to a partnership with Mikulu Trust. This collaboration is made possible by Mandela Day related donations from individuals and corporates.
Every GROW Educare Centre will receive a set of locally produced wordless picture books as well as the training needed to implement book-sharing principles in practice.
Book sharing is more than just reading
By empowering the facilitators and educators that work in these ECD Centres, the Mikhulu Trust partnership will ensure that GROW teachers are using easy evidence-based techniques to interact with learners while using wordless picture books. According to Mikhulu Trust ”the technique, called ‘dialogic book-sharing’ is a special kind of interaction between an adult and a young child using a picture book. It is not simply ‘reading’ to a child who listens passively – instead, it is an active exchange, led by the child, and supported by an adult who is attentive to their interests and communication.”
This enjoyable and simple activity has been proven to improve children’s language and cognitive development and help children understand and get along with other people better.
Research shows that book-sharing has a developmental impact
Research regarding book-sharing practices shows the following important findings:
- Book-sharing enhances children’s attention span, language development, and social understanding;
- After the book-sharing programme, parents were more sensitive and more responsive to their child’s interests, communication and feelings;
- Families experienced these benefits irrespective of their level of poverty or education;
- By the end of the book-sharing programme, the gap between the worst- and best-performing children at the start of the programme had narrowed considerably or vanished entirely.
Continuous investment in quality early learning through a holistic approach
GROW Educare Centres takes a holistic approach to develop 5 Star early learning centres through their 5 Step to 5 Star ECD programme. Business sustainability and quality education are equally important in ensuring long term impact.
Lisa Voortman, Head of Education at GROW Educare Centres says that when they work with ECD Centres, they consider all aspects of quality education and provide centres with everything they need. “Our programme includes an approved play-based daily programme, the classroom equipment and educational toys to implement the programme, professional teacher development and mentorship, safe and conducive learning environments, nutrition training, professional learner and teacher assessment and a big focus on emergent literacy. The collaboration with Mikhulu Trust comes at the right time and will greatly benefit every single classroom.” Both permanent teachers and teacher interns will benefit from the training received, ensuring transfer of skills which will benefit future ECD Centres where teacher interns may become permanently employed.
“We are incredibly grateful to the individuals and companies such as Container World who have made this collaboration possible. The funds raised through our Mandela Day initiative will help to purchase books and train teachers,” says Lisa.