Newsletter: August 2014

IN OUR AUGUST EDITION: E-news       Tweet This
 
 
 
 
 
 

Editor's Message:

With the end of the winter finally in sight, we can sense an overall increase in energy and the children relish the sports lessons outdoors after some intensive learning in the classroom, filling their lungs with fresh countryside air and enjoying being active. While on the topic of being active, we are needing support runners on 20 September as we make our way to Cape Town for the Peace Fun Run (4.2km), and extra hands at our water station for the Cape Town Marathon on 21 September. Please drop me a mail or give me a call if you're keen to help out.
 
We have very positive "follow up" story for you regarding last month's "Star". Twelve year old Mekens selflessly gave away his bicycle savings to others who are in greater need and we have been inundated with generous gestures towards rewarding this young man. Mekens is now able to take things a step further, as a result of this generosity and you can find out more in this month's newsletter.
 
Until next month, take care
 
Carolyn
 

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.

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Mekens is "Riding it Forward"

Last month our “Star of the Month” caused quite a stir. For those who missed the story, Mekens (12) was inspired to carry out an act of goodwill after seeing a Mandela Day insert on TV. He had been saving up towards buying himself a bike but instead, divided his savings (around R300) and gave it to three elderly ladies who live in shacks near to his house. Being raised solely by his mother, Mekens felt compassion towards these three grandmothers as they are single-handedly raising their own grandchildren. Mekens’ family is not well off by any means and for such a young child in his position to be so selfless (and so humble about it all!) is not something we hear about every day.  

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.

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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.

Thank you Top Events for the race entries and extra race t-shirts! Thank you Robyn and Will for being there!

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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

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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!

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THANK 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' 
MySchool www.1percentclub.yolasite.com WWH

 

NEWSLETTER ARCHIVES:
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
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Row pic
 
BOOK THIS DATE!
Teams of 8, fantastic team and spot prizes to be won, dress up, and EVERYONE IS INVITED!

Members: R180  |  Non-Members: R250
Cost Includes:
1)  A Pub Meal & Drink
2)  Professionally-run quiz
3)  A donation to Anna Foundation

 

THINGS KIDS SAY
FACILITATOR: "What is global warming?" Faces
CHILD:  "The earth shakes and then becomes very very hot... like in Worcester." 

 

Making Posters
Making posters: "Caring for my pets"

 

Role Play
Role play with the animal masks

 

Elbows
Inter-locking elbow races

 

Rugby
Practicing touch rugby skills

 

STAR OF THE MONTH
Petro Petro is a morning cook at an Ashton school, and grade R - 2 facilitator in the afternoon. Not having had a solid schooling herself, she has started to lack confidence in the classroom.
Petro has always done what is required of her but little extra, and has become extremely demotivated. After doing a personal 'stock-take' and deliberating about her future as a facilitator, she  has made the conscious decision to give her all, and since then has totally come out of her shell and gained new self-confidence. She is not afraid to initiate class discussions, and happily helps and supports the children as they require from her. Petro is driven to make a difference in the lives of the learners in her care and the children love and respect her.

 

Mekens
Mekens and his friend, Safwaan

 

Mekens
Mekens was extremely shy when given the bike and later pulled Uné aside, asking her to thank everyone involved for supporting him like this. Meken's class mates at the after-school are very supportive and happy for him that he now has his own bicycle. Thank you to everyone who contributed or offered their bicycles!

 

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED:
Anna Foundation
Water Station
Water Station
We need extra pairs of hands at our water station for the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon on 21 September! If you're keen to help hand out water sachets/coke to the runners, please email Carolyn or call 021 - 885 1922. It'll be an early start but a whole lot of fun in the best city in the world!
 

 

Ladies' Race
Psyching up at the starting line
 
Ladies Race
Volunteer runner, William Scott rounding up his little runners in yellow

 

Logo Simonsig Villiera Neethlingshof

 

1Percent - Simonsig
Club members pose with a poster of  their favourite charity at Simonsig

  

Sabrage
Jackie from Simonsig Wines opening the bubbly with a saber

 

Nougat
1 Percenter Eimear, presenting the num-num-nougat and bubbly at Villiera

 

Neethlingshof
1%Club member Carolyn Blignault, looking forward to tucking in to the "Flash Food and Slow Wine" pairing

 

1Percenters
"Who are we? 1%Club!" This became a standard pose at each stop on the tour

 

 

SHOEBOX OF LOVE 2014 HAS LAUNCHED
You can register to ‘adopt’ a child or pensioner on the Shoebox website. You'll be given the child’s details and personal 'likes' which will help you make up a customised gift for them. These are then distributed to the various organisations and handed out at Year End parties during November and December.
Shoebox has been a tremendous support to the Anna Foundation all year round and we really appreciate all they have done for us!
Shoebox

 

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