Literacy is the foundation of all learning – and in celebration of International Literacy Day on 8 September, school shoe brand BFirst by Bata, donated reading books to the KwaThintwa School for the Deaf, in Durban.
The book donation is part of BFirst by Bata’s learner wellness programme that places emphasis on the overall wellness and development of a child. The The A-Z of Learner Wellness books are filled with valuable information for learners to help them in their wellness journey, and providing the information in the format of a book encourages literacy.
Literacy is one of the key indicators of a child’s development, however, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), at least 771 million young people and adults globally lack basic literacy skills.
September is also the International Month for Deaf People in commemoration of the first World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf which took place in September 1951.
Managing director at Bata South Africa, Michael Wyatt says: “Bata has, since 1894, been committed to contributing to the communities who support us, and especially to helping children. We believe that every child should have a good pair of school shoes so that they can get to school and walk and play freely while having their feet protected. But more than that, we are committed to supporting our children’s overall development. Learning to read is one of those key developments, and a very special moment for parents, guardians and teachers to see their child pick up a book and read a sentence. That simple act opens up a whole new world for a child, and is a stepping stone towards a bright future. We are proud to support and facilitate this.”
The KwaThintwa School for the Deaf, based in Cato Ridge, just outside of Durban, provides education for learners with hearing challenges, who live in rural communities. Headmistress, Dr M Naidoo, said they were ecstatic over the donation of books: “The staff and learners of KwaThintwa School are so excited at the donation of the books. Each book is special, each has a lesson that a child interprets in their own way, and each one has a place in a child’s educational journey. We are grateful,” she said.
The children at KwaThintwa School were treated to a double surprise.
Apart from the donation of books, the school was also one of three winners nationally, in the BFirst by Bata playgym and Wellness Workshop initiative. The playgym was handed over the school and took pride of place in their playground. The learners were then taken through a Wellness Workshop by The ToolBox Life, where they were equipped with skills on how to develop healthy coping mechanisms for life challenges such as stress, relationships and their environment.
“We are overwhelmed today. We have a beautiful new playgym, and new books to read. Our space is equipped to provide an invaluable and holistic learning space. Thank you, Bata,” said Naidoo.
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