10 interesting things you may not know about Shine
1) Shine Zambia Reading Academy is not a primary school. Shine’s school in Zambia is a literacy school rather than a typical primary school, running a special two-year literacy program aimed at teaching children how to read and write. After completing our program, Shine places pupils into mainstream education.
2) The Shine literacy program combines traditional subjects (Maths, English, Science, Social Development Studies and the local language Cinyanja) with our own literacy curriculum (Phonics, Sight Words, Guided Reading, Creative Writing and Life Skills).
3) We only have 15-18 pupils per class. Our small class sizes mean that Shine teachers can monitor pupils closely and provide them with the individual help they need.
4) Shine Zambia Reading Academy has a library with around 9,000 books. Our library is used on a daily basis by every pupil, and then in the afternoon and on Saturdays by the local community.
5) Shine pupils receive a free lunch every day at school. The porridge they receive for lunch at school is the only meal that many pupils are guaranteed on a daily basis.
6) Our school has a wonderful playground that’s open to the community. Shine Zambia Reading Academy has a playground with 6 swings, a slide and see-saw that attracts hundreds of out-of-school children from nearby compounds who would otherwise have little to do.
7) Our pupils do not pay a penny for their education. Shine targets the most vulnerable children so, unlike in local community schools, our pupils do not contribute anything towards their education.
8) We don’t even have a uniform! There are more important things to spend money on like food, teaching materials and teachers.
9) Shine is working with a US-based organisation to educate HIV-positive women. Shine works in partnership with Abataka, a US-based organisation that empowers vulnerable, HIV-positive women with skills such as making jewellery. Our literacy outreach program ensures the women also learn how to read.
10) Shine runs an Adult Literacy class in the evenings. Many adults (mainly women) who never had the opportunity to become literate as children are excited to now have this chance at Shine.