Ford joins project assisting learners, teachers with reading

Learning to read and the joy of reading received a boost with Ford joining a campaign that has been going for 25 years assisting learners and teachers in this regard.

23 Ford Read1

The Ford Motor Company Fund, through a Global Giving grant, partnered with the READ Educational Trust to hold its first Rally to Read event, launching the three-year programme within the areas surrounding Ford’s Silverton Assembly Plant this February.

Rally to Read is a social investment activity under the READ Educational Trust and has had a meaningful impact on South Africa’s educational system over the past 25 years. It facilitates teacher training thanks to dedicated READ trainers, who monitor and mentor teachers on literacy and language methodologies. This is done in conjunction with the Department of Basic Education’s subject advisers and school district offices. Teachers receive the necessary training, and READ field staff make regular visits to provide support.

Learners of various schools around Silverton received a range of materials to assist with reading.

The Rally to Read programme strives to target learner literacy development by distributing curated educational books with the purpose of nurturing learners’ intellect. This year, for the first time, Ford Fund was able to bring the initiative to the local community surrounding its Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria, visiting schools in Mamelodi (Zamintuthuko Primary School and Boikgantso Primary School), Nellmapius (Nellmapius Extension 6 Primary School and Vukauzenzele Primary School) and Eersterust (Nantes Primary School and PS Fourie Primary School).

Reading material after it was unloaded at one of the schools.

“Ford’s relationship with Rally to Read is a partnership in the truest sense of the word. We are committed to supporting education and improving reading and literacy levels, which provide the all-important foundation for educating our youth and serve as the building blocks for creating a brighter future for South Africans. Our association with the READ Educational Trust dates back to 1999, and it is one that we are incredibly proud of as it makes a real difference to the lives of both the learners and teachers,” said Esther Buthelezi, Government Affairs and Transformation Director, Ford South Africa.

Ford employees and local media participated in delivering the academic material to the schools. Clad in colourful Ford and Rally to Read collaborative flags, a convoy of Ford Rangers were used to transport the material.

Ford employees loading Ford vehicles with the material to be delivered at schools.

The academic material, with a key focus on foundation-phase learners, ranging from grade R to grade 3, is prepared and supplied by the READ Educational Trust. It consists of story books, educational toys, multi-coloured box libraries containing reading books of various genres, as well as smart projectors.

Ford and Rally to Read also used this event as an opportunity to introduce a digital literacy programme that is being implemented for the first time in 2023. This programme will help facilitate better learning opportunities for scholars. Smart projectors will be used to promote a multi-faceted learning experience through infographics, streaming online videos and accessing web browsers for real-time information during lessons to modernise the learning experience.

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