|IN OUR JULY EDITION:|
3 R's: Reading, Running, Right-ing (and Holidays)
Holiday Fun: Our after-schools remained open over holidays period. Projects were equipped with resources for arts and crafts and the facilitators were given the freedom of each day’s planning. One of the most enjoyed activities involved the decorating of Marie Biscuits but more specifically, the post-decoration eating of said Marie Biscuits! Other goings-on included the making and decorating of mud cakes, pasta-jewellery, arty fun with leaves, and a chance to play literacy and maths computer games. Some of our facilitators organised fun word games to play with their learners while another took her group on a pretend outing to a restaurant, teaching the children about table manners. Whatever was planned, the children were kept nice and busy!
Reading (literacy and numeracy): We start term 3 by looking at dinosaurs which the children always find very interesting but often, difficult to imagine. The worksheets include fascinating information which requires reading with understanding in order to answer the questions, and vocabularies are increased with many new words, for example extinct and evolve. We move forward in time to reptiles, mammals and break this down even further into the different groups of food-eaters, also taking time to explore the various living environments (habitats) of animals, the plants, and other food sources they require in order to survive. Maths questions are included at the end of each worksheet, providing much needed and necessary numeracy practice.
Running (sport): There are always a group of children who are adamant that they prefer soccer over rugby but after a sports lesson or two, we can see they are hooked! Touch rugby (or touchies) is such an exciting game which is enjoyed by both the girls and boys. Each lesson starts with a warm up followed by games that are aimed at developing the skills needed for the game, such as quick, agile running and passing while also communicating with one’s team. We incorporate many relay races involving picking up balls on the run, and chasing games which naturally leading to squeals of delight and much laughing. Most importantly (and often, most difficult for ‘netball girls’) is to pass the ball backwards!
Right-ing (Life skills through Drama): The R – 3 groups explore two well-known fairy tales (“The 3 Little Pigs” and “The Ugly Duckling”) using their bodies. Music, dance and rhythm guide their exploration. This is a big step for their age group as most of them are still generally unaware of what their limbs are doing most of the time☺. Performing tasks to music develops listening skills, creative interpretation, body and spatial awareness and takes great self-control. Developing these skills provides a solid foundation for the anger management work towards which we are working in Year 2 of our programme.
For the Grade 4 - 12 groups, term 3 is all about telling stories and changing endings. The children start by exploring the tale of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” and have to decide on a few of their own alternative endings for the story. They then will move on to telling their own stories and help each other to find solutions to the problems posed in these stories, thus once again changing the ending. By telling, re-telling and changing stories, learners start to realise how small changes and decisions can drastically influence the lives of the characters. This opens the door to understanding how much influence they actually have to change outcomes in their own lives.
Soccer Fun Days
During the July holidays two “Soccer Fun Days” were held for the Anna Foundation children in the Langeberg region. The children from Excelsior and Arabella Wines (Ashton) met in the first of these friendly clashes while another, larger event was held for the children of Graham Beck and Riverside Primary (Robertson) with the emphasis being on the fun, rather than winning.
Both events started with a mass warm-up session and this was followed by the children being put into teams. To add to the excitement teams were mixed, with boys and girls from the various after-schools being put on the same side, giving the children an opportunity to make new friends and at the same time, learn the importance of team work. Faces were painted to represent the various teams and team names were chosen with ‘Brazil’ and ‘Messi’ proving to be the most popular by far! The children then had to work together to come up with a war cry, taking turns to perform this in front of all the other learners. Some groups were shy and experienced stage fright while others thoroughly enjoyed being in the lime light and danced and sang to their heart’s content as though competing in an episode of “Idols”.
At both of the Soccer Fun Days, the Grade R and 1 children had other fun games planned for them in addition to dabbling in a little soccer. They revelled in the three legged races, the old ‘pass-the-apple-under-the-chin’ game and especially loved the marshmallow and spoon relay (with the best part being allowed to eat a marshmallow afterwards!). Although the little ones really enjoyed their mini soccer matches, they still have a long way to go when it comes to playing as a team (think of iron filings being attracted to a magnet☺ )
The older children each had a chance to rotate and play soccer matches against the other teams, 10 minutes a side. Those not playing a match stood on the side lines, cheering and dancing for their favourite teams on the field. These children are born with rhythm and song in their blood and the ‘cheerleaders’ were almost as entertaining as the soccer games being played! A number of parents from the communities who had come along to support could be seen, moving in time to the lyrics of songs and getting into the vibe of day as a result of the children’s enthusiasm.
After a much appreciated juice break (thank you, Pacmar!) and later on, hot dogs (thank you 1%Club!), it was time for the prize giving where teams with the best spirit and enthusiasm were acknowledged. What really stood out for all of our staff was the level of appreciation and enjoyment. Both days were filled with smiling, laughing children and it was clear that not only the children, but the facilitators and parents present also appreciate all that had gone into the events. What a fantastic way to ‘wrap-up’ term two’s soccer theme (and perfectly timed, coinciding with the World Cup festivities!).
A special mention must go to volunteers, Will Scott and Josh Putterill (both Grade 7 at Somerset College) who gave up some of their holidays to help at both events. They did such a fantastic job of refereeing and generally making themselves very useful. Two selfless young men who are going places (great models for our t-shirts too, we think!).
Puppet Show with a Purpose
During the first week of the school holidays, 60 children from our Boland projects were invited by the Distell Foundation to attend a puppet show, held at the Breytenbach Centre in Wellington. For many children, this would be the only opportunity for them to leave the farm for their entire three week break from school.
The entire outing was an experience - the bus ride; the opportunity to play and explore in the beautiful theatre gardens; the marvel of the beautifully crafted hand puppets. The puppet show story highlighted how each person is special and has something important to contribute. It also encourages a healthy lifestyle and how important it is to have enough energy in order to reach one’s full potential.
The show is a training project which is being sponsored by Distell, under leadership of well-known drama therapist, Amelda Brandt, for upcoming actors in the Wellington area. The members of the cast made the puppets themselves, out of recycled items (just as we do in our life skills programme) and the script is a culmination of stories written by the cast. The production will tour to communities in surrounding areas.
VinPro Volunteers plan a Fun Friday
One of the ways in which volunteers can get involved with the Anna Foundation is to organise a ”Fun Friday”. This is a chance for the children to break away from a week of school and hard work, and just have some fun. A little while ago we were contacted by a representative from VinPro who was keen on coordinating a Fun Friday for a project in the nearby area. We gave all the necessary information regarding the after-school project to the VinPro team who, as per our requirements, put their heads together and carefully planned the afternoon’s agenda.
On a very wet and wintery 25 July, a group of volunteers arrived at Buffet Olives farm, greeted by a group of extremely enthusiastic children involved in the Anna Foundation after-school. The 20 children had no idea what to expect but had been itching to find out what lay in store for them the entire week. The children were split into three groups according to their grades in order to make the games as fair and fun as possible. Each group took turns at each of the three stations which were manned by the VinPro staff, giving every child the chance to try each game and stand in line to win a sought after prize.
One of the stations involved mask painting and each grade group was given a theme on which they should paint their mask: Gr R to 3 - Animals; Gr 4 to 7 – Heroes, and Gr 8 to 12 - Masquerade. The children embrace the chance to paint and had great fun coming up with innovative ideas and using various embellishments to finish off their works of art which included a few Spidermen and a number of less recognised or made up heroes. At the remaining two stations, the children quickly recognised the “Minute to Win It” activities (as seen on TV) and the tasks, although some more difficult than others, led to much cheering and excited screaming as friends and team mates battled it out in a relay, blowing paper frogs and waving balloons over finish lines. Games also included the extremely challenging “bouncing a Ping-Pong ball into a cup” and sorting various coloured paper into separate boxes according to colour. Sound easy? With only a minute to complete some of these tasks, the adrenalin and noise levels … well, you can just imagine!
Thank you to everyone who had a hand in organising and running the special Fun Friday for our learners at Buffet Olives. The children so appreciated your visit and really had a lot of fun with all that you had planned for them. Thank you also for the wonderful donation of blankets, warm clothing, paints and other goodies which you brought with you. Your support is tremendously appreciated.
Mandela Day with the SSA
For Mandela Day, ten staff members from the SSA organised a whole lot of games and fun for the children at Neethlingshof Wines inluding the rare opportunity to wrap adults up as 'Mummies' using toilet paper; word and balloon games; knocking over bottles with balls and many more. The SSA team not only looked after the Anna Foundation children but catered for the little crèche toddlers as well. All those present had their fair share of sweets, with a lunch of healthy soup and bread. A large cake had been baked for Madiba's birthday and the children had to work as a group to decorate the cake as best they could using brightly coloured icing, hundreds and thousands and other delicious goodies. Wow, team SSA worked hard in making the day extra special for both our learners and the crèche children. Of course, everyone was reminded about the reason behind the visit.
Thank you, Sonja and team from SSA for your wonderful visit and for spoiling the children as you did!
- Aty van Hoorn: Your donation is greatly appreciated!
- 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: Financial donation and on-going monthly support
- van der Merwe Family: Financial support for school tuition
- 1%Club Members: On-going monthly support
- Wines with Heart: On-going financial support
- Trail Magazine: Thank you, Deon Braun for the A4 ad!
- Breede River Gazette: Article insert (thank you, Hilderine)
- WineLand Magazine: Magazine insert
- Holmelea, Barrydale and Nola: Monthly contributions are so appreciated
- Pacmar: Fruit juice for our soccer days
- Operation Shoebox and 'Plastic Animal donors'!
- MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet and all our 'card swipers'
- All "Walk in the Park" Donors: We truly appreciate your support