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


Our vision is to empower learners to reach their full potential by learning to read, write and communicate effectively in English


  • To develop basic skills in word recognition and deciphering so that foundational reading can be taught.
  • To develop and train local educators to sustain the use of the Gateway into Reading programme in local schools
  • To provide contextually appropriate reading material to ensure that all children have the opportunity to hear and read a story.
  • To support educators and work alongside the schools in teaching the children how to read and write in English

Programme Leader

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Literacy Lessons/Gateway into Reading (GiR)
Learners aged 6-10 years are taught to master basic concepts of the English language through a Gateway into Reading programme. GiR is a programme that teaches foundational English reading skills so that learners are helped to read meaningfully in the English language. The literacy lessons are taught in a large group by school educators who spend 45 minutes weekly giving a specialised GiR lesson as well as 15 minutes daily reinforcing the weekly lesson. Special attention is given to those learners who need more repetition on a one-on-one basis at afterschool clubs. These afterschool clubs are held once weekly.

Mentoring and Monitoring
A specialised GiR teacher is assigned to a class teacher and conducts a lesson observation and in-class co-teaching once per week. Through a mentorship process, the GiR teacher is able to model teaching techniques, carry out observations and identify areas for development.

Learner Assessments
Baseline assessments are conducted at the beginning of the year and continuous assessments are carried out at critical intervals throughout the curriculum implementation.

Educator Support
Educators and management at under-resourced schools can be overwhelmed by the challenges of their context. It is important that these role players do not feel alone. Our educator support initiatives include workshops and training times to support and empower staff through skills development and phonological awareness. We also provide the educators with the first set of teaching resources so that they are equipped from the get go to begin teaching the GiR curriculum.

Hear to Read
Learners are encouraged to read independently and for pleasure through a selection of African-based printed and audio-recorded storybooks. Story books are supplied to school libraries and Educators are able to select stories for individual and group reading during lessons.

Research and Evaluation

In order to ensure that the programme remains relevant and effective, we evaluate and monitor the programme for consistent impact. Implementation monitoring is conducted throughout the year ensuring programme delivery is on track. We also track quarterly English results from learners to monitor impact on English proficiency.

Programme Scope

The Domino Foundation Literacy Programme reaches children and staff in the Foundation phase (Grade 1, 2, 3) in the Besters community. We have launched at 1 school and reach 270 children between the ages of 6 and 7 years old.

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