Amanda is a mentor, a peer-counsellor, an entrepreneur and a self-published author
Amanda Sickle works full-time in administration at a leading research organisation. In her other time, Amanda is the founder of a community initiative in Mitchells Plain called PhenomenalWomen; their objectives include the rebuilding and restoration of women to enable them to shift from victim to victor, dependence to independence and to stimulate entrepreneurship, self-reliance and economic stability. She believes that ‘when you teach a woman to fish, you feed her, her family and her community for a lifetime’.
She is also the founder of a literacy organization, The Reading Room, and believes that when you instil a love for reading in a child, you give that child a skill that can be used as a currency for future.
Amanda is a mentor, a peer-counsellor, an entrepreneur and a self-published author. Amanda and her family live in Cape Town.
Cool kids read
Children reading with confidence
It is a known fact that the literacy rate in South Africa is unbelievably low. The Minister of Education, Angie Motshekga said that among Grade Three children, the national average performance in literacy was 35%; and in numeracy, 28% (Department of Education, 2012). This national average can be attributed to various factors, i.e. large learner numbers per class, inadequate teaching resources, overworked educators and/or ill-equipped parents.
It is sad to find a Grade 7 learner with a low reading- and comprehension ability. A low reading ability most often affects the learner’s comprehension skills. Eventually a less-literate learner will become despondent and will abandon all means of learning and education.
The Reading Room was founded in May 2012 with aims to lessen the rate of illiterate learners, by offering one-on-one reading sessions and ad hoc parenting workshops about reading and reading assistance.
Reading sessions are conducted one-on-one every Saturday morning for a minimum of 30 minutes per reader; sessions are child-led and are varied to include reading and other activities such as board games, crosswords, word searches or puzzles, dependent on the age of the child.
Readers come from disadvantaged-, poverty-, drug- and crime-ridden areas of the southern suburbs and the Cape Flats. Readers are often referred by educators and word-of-mouth recommendations.
The Reading Room assists learners from Grades One to Twelve. The Reading Room has even assisted learners at special needs/skills schools to become confident readers. Often learners from the skills schools’ graduate from the school without the ability to read. The Reading Room can assist any learner who is willing and eager to learn to read.The Reading Room is volunteer-based; none of the reading buddies or administrators receive any form of financial compensation for their time or travel. Their commitment is pivotal to the success and objectives of the organisation.
By magically weaving the child’s personal details into each story, Create-a-book® personalized storybooks, instils a love for reading. With your name and message printed in the front of each book, this worthwhile book teaches the value of owning books and becomes a keepsake for a lifetime – because when the book’s about you it’s a different story altogether!
The stories and illustrations are all standardized and include the personal details of the recipient.
Due to the nature of the personalised product, I can only set up the book once payment has been received – a book made for Jane Doe cannot be passed off to Joe Soap – because of the obvious and very different personal information.
In 2009 Amanda founded a community-based initiative in Mitchells Plain, PhenomenalWomen. One of the programmes at PhenomenalWomen were the weekend bootcamps – not a physical bootcamps but an emotional and mental bootcamp to clear out all the old baggage women tend to carry around with them.
My Story was birthed at these bootcamps when the women started sharing their stories.
My Story is a compilation of stories narrated by women from diverse walks of life, viz. each volume contains 8-10 chapters and each chapter is written by a woman detailing either an event in her life or a circumstance she has overcome or could be written over her timeline.
Each My Story Volume is edited, proofread and self-published by Amanda.
Each chapter reflects the writer’s background, lessons learnt and healing experiences. The stories are true reflections of the writer’s reality or circumstances.
A collection of books, videos and photos