|IN OUR AUGUST EDITION:|
3 R's: Reading, Running, Right-ing News
READING (literacy/numeracy): This month’s worksheet theme starts off looking at animals. The children learn new facts about farm animals including how humans rely on them as a work force (cattle, horses), for clothing and as a food source. The children also learn some everyday facts such as the correct names for the male and female of a species, how we refer to an animal’s offspring, what they eat, how they are classified (eg. herbivore; mammal) and so on. The topic of caring for one’s pet is always of great importance and needs to be constantly reinforced at the after-schools. We look at our responsibilities towards our own dogs and cats, and the children present what they learn through role play using animal masks. At many after-schools, groups of learners make posters which highlight our pet’s everyday needs. The theme moves on to our environment and we explore the effects and consequences of different types of pollution. New words such as ‘acid rain’, ‘biodegradable’ and ‘greenhouse effect’ are sometimes heard for the first time, and we shed new light on their meaning while increasing vocabularies. The children learn about different ways in which electricity (energy) is produced and how the environment plays a vital role in the process. Another very relevant topic is on the “other 3 R’s”: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. We take a look at recycling logos and signs that can be found on every day packaging while a few new recycling projects are now underway at the after-schools as a result.
In addition to the life skills themes there is much grammar and comprehension skills practice in all of the worksheets and the education hour is rounded off with maths revision from the Edupeg exercise books.
RUNNING (sports): We continue with touch rugby and developing the skills needed to play this fast-paced game. The sports lessons all begin with a warm up and the games that follow are all highlighting a theme for the afternoon, for example team work, footwork or agility. The lessons and games are extremely varied and this helps to keep the children’s interest and enthusiasm in check. Inter-locking elbow races help the children to communicate and work together, while the ‘minefield’ game (one person has to direct a blindfolded partner through a minefield) develops listening skills. A reaction game favourite is 'cat and mouse' where the mouse has to quickly run around the circle and sit down before being caught (similar to 'Duck, Duck, Goose'). The backwards-passing, zig-zag running, agility ladder and ball dodging games in the current sports lessons are leaving the children utterly knackered by the end of the afternoon although they seem to never be too tired for more!
RIGHT-ING (life skills through drama): The story of the “Three Little Pigs” is used as the basis for guiding the younger groups of grade R – 3 children as they become more familiar with their own body space and their world around them. An example of this would be to identify shapes in the 3 piglet’s houses. The learners first draw these shapes with their fingers and then, using their entire body, form the shape. We do this with a number of shapes, pictures and a variety of different games. Experiencing the environment and their bodies in this way is an important part of developing the children’s ability to think about and understand abstract concepts (like maths). It is also an important part of getting to know and understand themselves. Self-awareness is a crucial life skill that plays a large role in a person’s ability to communicate, self-motivate and empathise.
The grade 4 – 12 lessons are based around the tale of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. Through games and role play the children try and to identify with the characters in the book - what they wanted and why they thought they needed it, as well as what they were willing to do to get what they wanted. We ask difficult questions such as: “who is the bad guy?” and “is there a good guy?”. The learners are surprised to discover that labelling the characters becomes more and more difficult as you get to know them and understand their motives. In the last lesson we ask the children to reassess the situation - what could change to make the stories’ ending more positive and future brighter for the characters of the story? This type of work helps the learners to apply the empathy, problem-solving and communication skills that we have been working on over the past few months. By applying these skills in a fictional setting we are helping the children realise that these same skills can also be applied to real life situations.
Mekens is "Riding it Forward"
About a month before all of this came to light, we were given an (almost) brand new bike by friends of the Anna Foundation (thank you Luke, and the de Villiers family!!). After getting wind of Mekens’ story, we immediately thought of the bike but as we are working with children, we need to be very careful as to how we handle situations like this. As much as we’d love to simply give the boy a new bike, we needed to take into consideration what the other children would learn from seeing their friend being rewarded for his act of kindness. So, we did some brainstorming…
We were absolutely blown away by the response to Meken’s story on Facebook and social media over the weekend that followed. While we were still deciding on a plan of action, our friends at Operation Shoebox started a fund towards purchasing Mekens a bicycle, and a total of R1600 was raised. Our plan immediately changed to incorporate this fantastic donation with the bicycle: Project Manager Uné met with Mekens at his farm and they had a little chat. A few months ago, Mekens had already voiced his interest in doing further acts of good will towards the people in his community and had been quite specific as to his idea. With these funds he would be able to turn his idea into a reality and Mekens explained to Uné how he would really like to help a few very poor families living near to his house by providing food parcels.
A week or two after the food parcel-planning had been discussed for the first time and the seed of enthusiasm was germinating, we presented Mekens with his own bicycle which really blew him away! To say that he did not expect this would be an understantement. He is now more excited than ever and talks enthusiastically about how he will be able to use his new set of wheels to transport the food parcels to the families in need. With Uné's guidance, Mekens' eagerness to pay it forward has taught him about planning and setting goals, as well as learning about food costs and how to budget. The experience has also influenced those around him and although this project is Mekens’ “baby”, a few of his friends have found his enthusiasm infectious, expressing their willingness to lend a hand when it comes to making up the food parcels and distributing them (and this was all before the bicycle came into play!).
Thank you Shoebox (Kirsten!) and all those who contributed towards making this possible. If you would like to help to further Mekens' good will to others and make a contribution towards what we've called his Ride it Forward fund please use “Mekens” as a reference and click here for our banking details. We are super-proud of Mekens and the way in which he has influenced others through his actions and we will do whatever we can to keep on motivating and supporting him in this project.
Totalsports Ladies' Race
Approximately 5000 people enter this annual race which winds through the streets of Stellenbosch, and the majority of participants are dressed in bright pink… but not us! We often mention how the yellow Anna Foundation t-shirts stand out but you have to take our word on this, especially at an event like this! Lively music pounded through the pavements as we waited among the masses of people at the starting line-up in Plein Street. Many of the children did their own little warm up by ‘dancing’ around while waiting for the starting gun. At this stage, a thick mist hung over the town but it wasn’t long before the sun had risen from behind the mountains and the fog soon lifted, presenting an absolutely glorious winter's morning. This fun run was a first for our little grade R’s from Simonsig and they were especially excited about the outing, making sure they stuck firmly together while the older children dodged and weaved between the crowds to get ahead. We are grateful to our regular support runners, Robyn and Will Scott, who were a great help in keeping track of “the yellow t’s” among the large number of participants. The Anna Foundation children finished very the 5km very quickly, much to our delight and their behaviour throughout the event is to be commended. Not only did they get to enjoy a beautiful run but the outing as a whole, was one to remember.
1%Club's "D'Vine Wine Tour"
When the ‘point’ of a 1%Club event is to meet new people, socialise, network and have fun at the same time, then the club most certainly met its objectives on the recent “D’Vine Wine Tour”. We have now proven that ‘less is more’ when talking Wine Tours and with eight members and guests coming along for the day, the group was the perfect size. Weather-wise, we couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day, especially after just having left a chilly week of snow and rain behind us. The mode of transport for the day was the Anna Foundation's minibus, enabling everyone to just sit back and enjoy the ride. It was only once everyone was on board that the day’s agenda was revealed.
First stop: Simonsig Wines. After a brief history about the farm given by Jackie from the tasting room, the group was taken into the cellar for a brief, yet informative tour. Hereafter we were seated on a beautiful, shady veranda and Jackie barely flinched as she dramatically opened the first bottle for tasting, using a saber. The Simonsig’s Kaapse Vonkel is the first Méthode Cap Classique (the beverage formally known in SA as Champagne) which was produced South Africa 40-odd years ago and the first flute-full really kicked off the wine tasting tour with a bang. Six varietals were tasted from a wine list with a total of thirty or so wines, including Simonsig’s Chenin Blanc and Pinotage which have both recently been awarded “Top 10” statuses in various national competitions.
After lingering at Simonsig we then moved on to Villiera Wines where a bubbly and nougat pairing had been prepared for the group in Villiera’s “Wine Sanctuary”. Four MCC Sparkling Wines produced by Villiera have been specially partnered with Sally Williams nougat and these included flavours of honey, almonds and cranberries, macadamia nuts and also some Turkish Delight. And what a delight it was! “Every Saturday morning should start like this!” and “I’ll never be able to look at nougat the same way again!” were some of the comments heard during this tasting session. If you haven’t yet done it, the Villiera experience is definitely not one to be missed.
Our last stop was Neethlingshof Wine Estate. We were making the most of our visit to the Winelands and by the time we eventually had ourselves seated in the tasting room it was already 14h30. Everyone was pleased to see some solid sustenance set before them! Again, we had another fantastic and totally different tasting experience: the Neethlingshof “Flash Food and Slow Wine” pairing is comprised of six different bite-sized (very tasty!!) foods partnered with wines that have been slowly crafted and matured to match the spiciness, savoury or sweetness of each dish. Once all the plates had been cleaned and the wine finished, the 1%Club group made their way, between the historical Cape Dutch buildings, to the Lord Neethling restaurant where everyone shared a variety of delicious platters complete with white wine which one would normally associate with a “summery” vibe. A beautiful view over the town of Stellenbosch provided the perfect setting to the end of a lazy, fun-filled afternoon. Everyone was in high spirits and happy to just chill, with conversations continuing to flow, keeping in mind that the chatting started well before the first sip that morning! The general consensus at the end of the day: we have to do this again… soon! Say no more.
Tremendous thanks to Simonsig, Villiera and Neethlingshof Wines, not only for providing such unique ways in which to taste your wines but also for the fantastic hospitality and complimentary or discounted rates offered to the 1%Club. We truly value your support.
What is the 1%Club? Every few months, social events are organised for 1%Club members providing an opportunity to meet new people and network whilst doing something fun. In order to join the club and receive invitations to these events, members commit to contributing 1% (or thereabouts) of their salary each month. Joining is simple and all members’ money is pooled together and used to fund various activities and projects run by the Anna Foundation, their beneficiary. Members receive monthly feedback as to where the money has been utilised and each contribution is tax deductible. The 1%Club is making a tremendous difference to the Anna Foundation each month. For more information go to www.1percentclub.yolasite.com
Prop Drive: It's a Wrap
For the last couple of months we have been collecting propsto be used in our drama (life skills) lessons next year. After having numerous wonderful people dropping off their funny hats, silly glasses and flamingo heads (yes, you read that correctly), our Drama Prop Drive has now drawn to a close. We'd like to thank each and every person who contributed towards increasing the size of our prop collection. We'd also like to thank the following venues for 'hosting' a box for us: Builders' Express, Stellenbosch (Brian Wridgway), Rococo Restaurant and Chocolate Shop (Madeleine), Robertson Wine Valley (Elizma Spangenberg), Somerset College Senior (Jhanie van Aswegen), DF Malan High (Marisa van der Merwe) and the Neethlingshof office team (Sylcke Whittaker). We couldn't have done it without you!
- Raphael Dornier: Financial donation
- CT International Financiers: Generous donation
- Lilla Howe Trust: Financial donation and on-going monthly support
- Croft Trust: Financial donation and on-going monthly support
- Dr Brom: Financial donation and on-going monthly support
- de Villiers Family: Bicycle and Financial donation
- van der Merwe Family: Financial support for school tuition
- 1%Club Members: We truly appreciate your monthly support
- Wines with Heart: Monthly financial support
- PERI: Donation of work stations
- Holmelea, Barrydale and Nola: Monthly contributions are so appreciated
- Robertson Wine Valley: Elizma, thank you for the speaking opportunity
- Shoebox: Your continuous, year-round support!
- Radio Helderberg (and Wildekrans Wines!): Air time
- Stellenbosch Gazette: Thanks, Jill for the insert
- MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet and all our 'card swipers'