About the Ithuba Writing Project: The Development of Ithuba Books

What: The work of the Ithuba Writing Project targeted the development of stories for each of intermediate grades (4-6) across each of the three target genres (health, science literacy and numeracy). This yielded a targeted number of 280 titles, of which the partners in this project selected the most appropriate and well-developed titles for publication purposes. Of those titles, 140 are written in the nine official and indiginous languages of South Africa and 140 are translated English versions.

Why: Research has demonstrated that literacy development and leanring occurs best in classrooms where children have learn in their mother tongue in their primary years. The Ithuba Writing Project supports South African language-in-education policies.

Who: These teachers were drawn from the most needy school in Gauteng, Mpumalanga, and Limpopo. They wrote the stories in the mother tongue of the children with whom they work. A team of professors from the United States edited the stories. The Ithuba Art Director, Mr. Vusi Malindi and his team, illustrated the stories. The authoring teachers field tested their stories and revised them based on feedback from learners in their classrooms.

How: Authoring teachers used an innovative software program (RealeWriter) to develop their books. The software provided teachers with access to technology during this process as well as a layout to follow in the design of their books.

Our collaborating partners, the READ Educational Trust and the Molteno Project, worked with us to implement the development workshops.


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