|IN OUR MAY EDITION:|
The Anna Foundation focusses on working with children. This is where our passion and our expertise lie. But the impact of our work, and the sustainability of everything we teach the children, will not be truly effective without the involvement and buy-in of the community. We cannot continue to work with the children in isolation from their parents and their community. We recognize that this is not our service area, and for this reason I have spent time the past few months networking with other professionals and very worthy organisations who do excellent (in fact exceptional) work within communities. We at the Anna Foundation are very excited about workshops that these organisations will be hosting for our staff and community members during June and July. I love the idea that we can teach the children to be ‘Proud Me’ and that through our connections with other like-minded people, our children’s parents and communities will also learn to be ‘Proud Parents’. We will not stop in our efforts to build and develop each child and in so doing, contribute to building the future for all South Africans.
Latest on 3 R's: Reading, Running, Right-ing
May’s Reading (literacy/numeracy) worksheets require the children to ask questions about everyday science and discover the answers in a hands-on manner. How do things work? Why do they work? Each year we find that this is a popular theme and the month is filled with various practicals and experiments making the learning very real while encouraging the children to think out of the box. We test the density of objects by placing them in water to see whether they float; sugar, sand and cooking oil are mixed with water to learn more about ‘solutions’. The children enjoy finding out how a TV, cell phone and radio works and do practical tasks which demonstrate white light and how sound waves travel. Practical experiments such as these are not always done at the children's day schools and they help one to understand new concepts and retain the information which they have learned. The topics covered are relevant in each child’s day to day life and the practicals help to remind them that learning can be exciting and fun.
In our Running (sports) lessons we are currently working towards building the fundamental “foot skills repertoire” so that each child will be ready to play in the Anna Foundation Soccer Tournament taking place next month in June (any volunteers?!). Our learners practice stopping, kicking and dribbling a soccer ball through various fun games. One example is “Kick-It”: a game quite similar to continuous cricket but using a soccer ball and no bat. This game particular helps the younger children to practice team skills and fielding techniques but besides all this and no matter what the age group, this game is cause for much excitement and a huge hit at all our projects! Other non-soccer, team–building, problem solving and agility games are also included in the sports lessons in order to add some variety.
We continue with the theme on empathy in the Right-ing (life skills) lessons. Nobody is born with the ability to be empathetic. It is a skill which has to be learned and practiced. Before you can put yourself in someone else's shoes you must first be able to identify and understand your own emotions and this is what we are teaching the children, in a clever disguise: through drama games! This month we have played many fun games using props such as giant dice (made from big boxes), ping pong balls, yoghurt tubs, bottle tops and anything else we can find. A face is drawn onto every item, each expressing an emotion. With these props the children learn to “read” faces and name different emotions. We also explore things which might trigger these emotions and the learners realize that they are not the only ones who are scared of the dark or sad when we are alone, for example. Once we are able to identify our emotion we can validate them and begin to think of ways that can ‘turn our frowns upside down’. One of the activities for our younger learners is to build a life-size cave out of chairs, tables, blankets, cushions and anything else that can be found. The cave is tested it out with the facilitator chasing the children, pretending to be a man-eating lion. If the cave collapses or not all the children can fit inside, they continue to work on and rebuild their cave until everyone can escape the lion’s grasp and feel safe.
We are so inspired to see how some of the children are benefitting from the life skills programme. Increased communication and imagination are just two areas of where we have seen growth and development. We find children to be much more attentive during the drama games and displaying a new confidence, having their own creative ideas and using their imaginations without being so concerned about what other are doing. This is a tremendous breakthrough and only the beginning!
We Welcome Riverside Primary
We are pleased to welcome Riverside Primary to the Anna Foundation family. This multi-grade, rural school lies 20km outside of Robertson with 45 learners from Grade 1 – 6. The implementation of the Anna Foundation 3 R’s programme takes place at the school, after school hours with 2 facilitators receiving training in our education, sports and life skills curriculum on a weekly basis. Welcome on board!
This after school project is kindly being sponsored by Cape Town based company, FRIKA (www.frika.co.za). They have recognised a need and have not hesitated to step in and make a difference - thank you.
Outing to the Theatre
This time last year, we took our junior learners to the theatre for the first time. The outing was so successful that the children and facilitators talked about their experience for a long time afterwards. Upon discovering that the Stellenbosch University Drama Department would be putting on another children’s production this year, we knew we could not let the opportunity slide and booked out almost the entire theatre. The success of the previous year’s play had set the bar rather high and the children were excited for weeks leading up to the big day.
On 11 May all of our primary school learners from Grade R – 7 were transported from their respective farms to the H.B. Thom Theatre in Stellenbosch for a performance of the well-known tale of Rumpelstiltskin. The main character, who was also the villain, proved to be rather frightening for some of the younger children as he had a habit of appearing on stage out of nowhere, in a ball of smoke (the children are still trying to figure out how this was done!). Each time he magically appeared one of the children piped up: “Oh no, not that rude man again!” or a variation thereof. The children particularly enjoyed it when the fairies appeared on stage as they would incorporate the learners in the action by asking for their help in trying to find Rumpelstiltskin, sprinkling them with ‘star dust’ in the process. The Anna Foundation children became so caught up in the story that during the final wedding scene all of them rose up out of their chairs and danced along with all the wedding guests, much to the amusement of the other theatre goers.
After the show the children had the opportunity to meet the cast, shaking hands or exchanging hugs with their favourite characters. We are pleased to report that most of our learners made peace with “the rude man”.
What a wonderfully enriching outing for our young learners - to see their excitement and experience the joy of theatre is such a pleasure in itself.
BOOK DRIVE! 700 books for 700 children
|•||To encourage reading|
|•||So that our learners can feel proud about owning a book. There really is nothing quite like owning your personal 'special book' to read again and again|
|•||Children can swap books and tell one another about the story, making them hungry to read more.|
||Looking for something to do for Mandela Day next month? An ideal project for your company or office to undertake|
||Make a donation towards the purchase of books by using the reference
“Book Drive”. Click here for our banking details. Remember, all donations are tax deductible!
||Individuals: At your book clubs, birthday parties and get togethers, ask your guests to bring a new Afrikaans reading book along|
Please email carolyn[at]annafoundation[dot]com or call 021 - 809 1225 for any questions. All brand new (or excellent condition) Afrikaans reading books suitable for learners from Grade R - 12 will help us reach our goal!
Volunteer Wildfire Services Trail Run & Day of Fun
On 4 May, a rather chilly yet beautiful Saturday morning, approximately 60 Anna Foundation children met at Lievland Wine Estate, ready for the 6km “Mellow Yellow Trail Run”: a run organised as part of the Volunteer Wildfire Services fundraising day. Right from the start we knew this would be different to what we were used to as the first leg comprised of an extremely steep ascent forcing most race entrants to walk, including our little people. An equally steep descent followed and we found ourselves surrounded by vineyards and breath-taking views of the Simonsberg mountain. The children enjoyed the varied terrain of this race, absorbing the ever-changing scenery along the way. There is no doubt that the highlight of the route for many of our learners was to have wildebeest and zebra galloping past them as they ran through the Simonsberg Conservancy! The run was a challenge but this did not prevent our children and facilitators from crossing the finish line with broad smiles.
The excitement for the day didn’t end there: the VWS Fire & Fynbos Awareness Day activities followed. To keep their energy up after the long run, all children were given a snack pack (kindly sponsored by JAK Papers) which went down like a bomb! Each child also received a passport which enabled him/her to take part in the various fun activities on offer. Included in the goings-on was a snake display to which the children could get up close and personal, fire truck rides, arts and crafts, tree climbing (in a harness), a giant tree swing, and a jumping castle! The children could also ‘man’ a fire hose and experience the strength one needs in order to be a fire fighter. It was unfortunate that our hired bus had to leave during the late morning, so not all of the children were able to see the spectacular fire fighting display. The volunteer fire fighters demonstrated how they use their fire beaters and a helicopter wielding a water bucket showed the audience how it’s done. An exciting and educational experience to say the least!
Congratulations to the VWS for a wonderfully organised, fun day and for our race entries. Our children will remember both the trail run and fun activities for a long time. We’ll be back!
- All those who have contributed to the Winelands Charity Walk
- 94.5 Kfm, OUTsurance and Atlantic Athletics Club
- Wines With Heart: Your donation is most appreciated
- JET Lee Will Trust: Your financial support is greatly appreciated
- Lilla Howe Trust: Financial donation and on-going monthly support
- Croft Trust: Financial donation and on-going monthly support
- Dr Brom: Supporting us financially each month
- de Villiers Family: Supporting us financially each month
- Marius and Martinette van der Merwe : On-going monthly contribution towards school tuition
- 1%Club Members: Your monthly contributions make a huge difference
- PERI: Laptops
- MySchool and all our card swipers
- Media Support: Bolander, Eikestadnuus, Stellenbosch Gazette, Constantiaberg Bulletin, Witzenberg Bulletin
- Holmelea, Barrydale: Supporting us through accommodation
- JAK Papers: Food parcels for our children
- Carin Burger: Donation of baby clothes
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