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Determining the efficacy of the home school partnership programme (HSPP)
This research project was conducted in 2010 and 2011 as a strategy to determine the effectiveness of a home-school partnership programme (HSPP) in a Grade R class. This study was an investigation into the empowerment of parents of Grade R learners in assisting the learning of literacy at home. Parents of Grade R learners attended a seven-week programme on ways of assisting their children. By attending the HSPP, parents and teachers were encouraged to form a link between home and school. The present study is grounded in Paulo Freire’s theoretical model of knowledge and acquisition as well as Bronfennbrener’s bio-ecological system. Reference is made to Costa’s sixteen Habits of Mind, which indicates how parents have grown in terms of their way of thinking. A qualitative approach was used. Focus group interviews, semi-structured questionnaires and footage from the local broadcasting studio were used to collect data. The sample size consisted of five participants who were interviewed during 2010 and five participants who were interviewed during 2011. These parents agreed to be part of the research programme. The key question of this study was answered: How can the HSPP assist parents with the learning of literacy at home? The results confirmed the positive impact that the programme had upon the parents. They wanted to assist their children at home but did not previously have the skills to do that. By gaining these skills, they became confident to use everyday objects to help their young children become literate. In conclusion, from the current research, it can be seen that if the home, the school and the community collaborate in a meaningful and sustained way, the future of our children’s education, especially in poverty-stricken areas where unemployment is rife, can be improved significantly in a constructive and long-term manner.