“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” – Psalm 119:105


Only 22% of South African children can read and write in English before they reach Grade 4 which makes learning for life all the more challenging for them!

The vision of the Literacy Programme is to empower beneficiaries to reach their full potential by learning to read, write and communicate effectively in English as a second language by Grade 3.


  • To develop learners’ basic skills in word recognition and deciphering so that foundational reading takes place.
  • To train local educators to sustain the use of the Gateway into Reading programme in their local schools.
  • To support educators in teaching their learners how to read and write in English.

Literacy Lessons

Learners aged 6-10 years (Grade 1-3) are taught to master basic concepts of the English language for 45 minutes per week by teachers training through Gateway into Reading (GiR). The learning is re-iterated for 15 minutes every day for the remainder of each week.

Mentoring and Monitoring

A specialised Gateway into Reading (GiR) facilitator is assigned to a class teacher and conducts a lesson observation and in-class co-teaching session once a month, per educator. This is to monitor, evaluate and feedback on their progress and improve learning.

Learner Assessments

Baseline assessments are conducted at the beginning of the year and continuous assessments are carried out at specified intervals throughout the curriculum implementation to strengthen literacy learning as well as create collective educator support and encouragement.

Educator Support

Educators and management at under-resourced schools often feel overwhelmed by the challenges of their context. Classes are large (55 – 60 learners per class) and additional teaching resources are often scarce.  Educator-support initiatives include workshops and training times to empower staff through Skills Development and Phonological Awareness.

Monitoring & Evaluation

Three boys and three girls were randomly chosen from each of the 6 Grade 1 classes to participate in a Literacy Assessment.

After completing Step 1, 36 learners were tested on their written and oral recognition of sounds and letters taught. Of this sample of learners, 15 achieved 12 100%. The same testing procedure was followed after 10 learners completed Step 2.

Results showed that 28 learners achieved 100%. The difference in test scores showed a 87% improvement in learners achieving 100% in recognising taught letters and sounds.

As a final measure, we tracked the learner’s overall English marks per quarter and observed a 5% increase in their English results in 2019.

Opportunities for Involvement

The Domino Foundation Literacy Programme is dependent on local, national and international individuals/families, schools, churches, corporate businesses, trust and foundation donors (financial) and volunteers (time and services) who have a love for reading, stories and words and can change the world in the following ways:


Do you have spare hours in the day/week/month to come and read to children in our partner schools? Maybe support a teacher in her literacy journey or have time to source relevant books for children to read at home?


Are you a retired librarian, educator, facilitator or actor/actress with a love for reading and telling stories or know how to help teachers “how to better read and do phonics lessons” that inspire learning for life through the pages of books?


Can you invest your book money in others? Donate via EFT/Credit Card/PayPal donation or better still sign a monthly direct debit – see it as your community reading subscription 🙂  Or nominate us as your CSI or Book Club Beneficiary?

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Contact Details

Nicky Walton
Education Co-Ordinator
Email: education@domino.org.za
 +27 (0) 31 563 9605
Fax: +27 (0) 31 563 1001

  • Nicky Walton