The Virtuosity Foundation and Virtuosity Games Events
The Virtuosity Foundation is a non-profit company (Registration number: 2017/413428/08), NPO and PBO registration in progress) established to host fitness events in support of existing initiatives aimed at closing the literacy gap in South Africa.
According to the Child Gauge 2017‚ released in December 2017 by the Children’s Institute‚ 70% of children learn in an African language in grades R to 3 then switch to English‚ with 90% of Grade 4s taught in English.
According to an article published in Times Live in December 2017 the ability to read in Grade 4 is regarded as crucial‚ because from Grades 1 to 3 you learn to read‚ and from grades 4 to 12 you read to learn.
Good reading skills “enable children to learn much more than their teachers might offer and it enables them to learn independently”.
We believe the greatest impact we could have is by placing placing books in the hands of Foundation Phase learners. By providing them with books to read we are taking them one step closer to removing the inequality that exists in our society today.
In 2017, our goal was to assist the Greymont Reading Centre, in Greymont Linden, and provide support through the sponsorship of age appropriate books. On Saturday, 24 March 2018 Farhana Booley (the founder of the Virtuosity Foundation), handed over 30 Oaky and the Sun books, activity books and backpacks to children in the Greymont Reading Centre – all thanks to the support from the CrossFit Platinum community (in Linden) of the Virtuosity Games Event which took place in September 2017.
In an effort to continue to make a measurable difference and impact in the area of literacy, we decided to align our efforts with the Read to Rise NGO, and to allocate income from the 2018 Virtuosity Events to the purchase of books in support of the Read to Rise Soweto initiatives.
It is our aim and goal in 2018, to purchase 1,600 books necessary for the learners in Grade 3 and Grade 4 in Naledi, Soweto, to own their very own book and grow the love of reading.
Read To Rise
Read to Rise is a non-profit organisation committed to promoting youth literacy in schools in South Africa’s under-resourced communities. Founded in 2013 by husband and wife team, Athol Williams and Taryn Lock, this organisation operates entirely on the belief that children need to read in order to rise in their personal development and contribution to society.
In 2013, Read to Rise introduced their programme and efforts in Mitchells Plain and the 45 schools in this area. In 2015, Read to Rise decided to extend their efforts to Soweto, namely 20 primary schools in Naledi and Zola.
Oaky and the Sun
In an effort to provide children’s books that are affordable, good quality and that boasts uplifting and inspirational content, Athol Williams wrote Oaky and The Sun (a story about an acorn trying to grow in the right direction) while Taryn provided the illustrations.
They have waived all royalties and earn nothing from the book. Read to Rise have designed an in-classroom literacy session around the Oaky book which received an overwhelming reaction from the children.
Read to Rise now offers four class programmes, Oaky the Brave Acorn, Oaky and the Sun, Oaky the Happy Tree and, What is Happening to Oaky, which have been teacher-approved for this age group. Additional books are contiously being added to the series.
Each child attending one of these class programmes receives a book of his/her own to take home.
The Read to Rise Foundation is funded through donations.
Virtuosity Games Events
Presented below are some of the pictures taken from Virtuosity Events hosted to illustrate both the nature and culture of these events, as well as the participation and support enjoyed.
While the focus has historically been on CrossFit events within the Gauteng and national CrossFit community, our intention is to broaden the focus for the 2018 and future events, to include other sports disciplines, embracing the sports and fitness community at large. This provides the opportunity not only for more diverse events but, also to enlarge the community that supports the Virtuosity Foundation and increase the impact we might have in making a real difference to the literacy crisis facing our Country.