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READ to RISE wins literacy award

On 13 October 2022, non-profit organisation, READ to RISE won the Western Cape Cultural Affairs and Sport Award for Significant Contribution to the Development and Advancement of Reading and Literacy!

READ to RISE was founded by Athol Williams and Taryn Lock. Over the 9 years, READ to RISE has inspired over 100,000 children to read in under-resourced communities around South Africa. The organisation works with 47 primary schools in Mitchells Plain and 30 primary schools in Soweto. To date, the organisation has conducted over 5,600 class programmes and given out over 260,000 new story books.

READ to RISE also does the OAKY Puppet Show at public libraries around Cape Town during school holidays. The organisation also hosts the Cape Flats Book Festival. The second book festival took place 15-16 October 2022 at West End Primary School in Lentegeur, Mitchells Plain.

READ to RISE won the 2019 Western Cape Cultural Affairs and Sport Award for Best Library Programme.

READ to RISE Programme Manager, Roscoe Williams, represented the organisation at the awards evening and also was nominated for Significant Contribution to Language Development for his work in Mitchells Plain. Roscoe team includes Programme Facilitators Mark Klink and Anastacia von Vogel.

Co-Founder and author of the Oaky Series, Athol Williams, is an award-winning poet, social philosopher and academics - currently doing his PhD at Oxford University. Co-Founder, READ to RISE Executive Director and illustrator of the Oaky Series, Taryn Lock, is an Obama African Leader and currently runs READ to RISE with assistance from Business Operations Manager, Madeneya Bardien. The non-profit relies on corporates and individuals to sponsor the class programmes for the 19,000 children that they work with every year.

Co-Founders Athol Williams and Taryn Lock with Oaky.

For more information, please visit or email

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