Newsletter: June 2014

IN OUR JUNE EDITION: E-news       Tweet This
 
 
 
 
 

Editor's Message:

Congratulations to Anna and Pierre, on the birth of their daughter, Emma!  Other than a few sleepless nights, the family are all doing well! Thank you to everyone who sent well-wishes – I know that Anna appreciates your kind words.
 
It has been (another) busy month at our projects with all children writing exams and reading for marks, in addition to the regular 3 R’s programme. Our facilitators are also equipped with fun holiday activities and crafts to keep the children engaged over the next few weeks.  Mandela Day will be here before we know it so if you’re looking for some suggestions… we have a few areas in mind where you can help ►.  Our Drama Prop Drive has really taken off and we now have drop-off venues in Woodstock, Stellenbosch and Robertson.  If you have a tiara or two to contribute, take a look here for details and maps►.
 
We’re most grateful for a number of people and companies that have helped to guard our children against the winter chills this month– thank you for all your contributions!  There have been many beaming faces  (and dry feet!) as a result of your kindness.
Stay warm!
 
Carolyn


3 R's News: Reading, Running, Right-ing

Academic Exams and Reading Assessments: In the past we have found the month of June to be rather disruptive, what with school exams taking place, schools ending earlier and the general mood of the learners gearing towards the upcoming holidays. Every June and November all of our learners write a grade-specific formal exam which is based on the 3 R’s Curriculum.  It was decided we would move the writing of our exams a week earlier compared to previous years and we found this to work very well as the children are still in ‘exam mode’ at this time. The children are not assisted in any way by the facilitator except when explaining questions to the Grade R and 1 children who can’t yet read.  Following the exams, each child’s reading level is assessed. Marks are awarded for fluency, grammar and reading with understanding. The exams and reading assessments are an important part of our monitoring and evaluation process. From the results we can determine which areas of language and maths need extra attention, and it also enables us to monitor those learners who are currently on specific remedial programmes.   

READING, RUNNING AND RIGHT-ING
For the remainder of the term, each project’s facilitator(s) work out a tailor-made daily 3 R’s programme with the assistance and guidance of the Project Managers.  The Reading (education) hour is planned so that literacy and numeracy tasks are specific to the needs of that particular project’s learners.    Word puzzles, Edupeg (maths) and educational maths and word computer games are some of the activities which take place during the remainder of the term during the education hour.  “Maths Soccer” is another favourite classroom game where children have to know their times tables in order to compete against one another.  For the Running (sports) and Right-ing (drama) lessons, facilitators pick lessons from the curriculum which may have not yet been completed during the term, while a few of the old-favourites are included in the agenda and re-played for a fun-filled afternoon. A number of “Soccer Fun Days” will be taking place during the upcoming month where all the skills learned in the sports lessons over the past two months, will be put into play.

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A Good News Story: Life Skills in Action

When the drama (life skills) programme was first implemented many of our facilitators felt uncomfortable about being cast in the role of “drama teacher”.  Some felt that they weren’t equipped to run the lessons but this was simply because they were afraid of the unknown and did not know what to expect or how their group of children would respond (as they realised later on).  Some  were concerned that playing these light-hearted, and what they perceived to be ‘silly’ games, would cause the learners to lose respect for them.

Over the past few months we have seen an immense improvement and growth in our facilitators in their roles as “drama teachers”. They have a better understanding of the goals of the life skills programme and how the games are used as a tool to achieve those goals. This has helped them to look at the children in their care more positively and to identify possible causes for disruptive behaviour, rather than simply labelling a child as “impossible”. From conducting interviews with our facilitators we can see that they now have a very clear understanding of the areas in which their learners are currently struggling. Where a child or a group may have previously been described as “naughty”, they are now able to interpret the child’s behaviour and be specific as to the problem, for example: their group struggles with listening skills or communication skills, or the children don’t trust each other completely. The facilitators are now not only able to identify the problems, but they are also able to pick out specific games from the life skills programme that can be used to help their group overcome the problem.

The following story is a recent occurrence which demonstrates how the life skills programme  is directly impacting both the lives of the children and facilitators as well:

At their after-school, this class of Grade 4 and 5’s has grown particularly close as a result of the drama activities.  They work together to understand the games, laugh a great deal with one another and are not self-conscious or afraid of being teased.  They see their class to be a safe environment.  These children are under the leadership of a facilitator who has grown tremendously in her role as drama “teacher”. One afternoon the group noticed that one little girl was looking particularly sad and withdrawn. She had not been her lively self for a few weeks and the children were concerned.  When sitting together, the facilitator asked the girl if she would share with the group what was bothering her.  Although reluctant, her classmates encouraged her to open up and tell them what the matter was. It came to light that she was being bullied by another child, who happened to be in another class at the after-school. After hearing her story, the facilitator encouraged the group to give solutions and ideas as to what she could do to solve the problem. The rest of the group sympathised and told her that they had wished she had informed them sooner, giving her assurance that they would be there to support her at school the next day. Later that afternoon,  when they were alone, the facilitator called the ‘bully’ in and spoke with her and the girl who had been harassed. She asked both children to share how the situation made them feel and encouraged them to get to the bottom of things, then and there. The ‘bully’ apologised of her own free will and both children left the classroom together with the situation resolved. The children were able to empathise and read their friend’s emotions and body language while the facilitator was able to use her problem solving skills and manage the conflict. They offered support which extended beyond the after-school environment and were trusting of one another enough to share.

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Maths Olympiad

Maths Soccer: the classroom game which encourages children to learn their multiplication tables. A basic soccer field is drawn on the board and two children go head to head at one time. The facilitator calls out a times table and the first of the two competitors to raise their hand gets first dibs on answering. Each time a child answers correctly, the ‘ball’ (normally a blob of prestik) is moved a quarter-step towards the goal. Two correct answers in a row are needed for a goal to be scored, or a point to be awarded.  A winner is declared when a certain level of points are reached. After having every one of our after-schools implementing this game, and after seeing the successful results, it was decided take things up a notch and hold an inter-farm Maths Olympiad.

Right from the beginning of this tournament, the amount of preparation and practicing put in by the children was astounding! They took the competition very seriously, testing one another and then going home to study, determined to not let their farm down should they reach the finals. It started on our Ashton farms: Arabella Wines versus Excelsior Wines, holding a play-off during the second last week of the term.  All Grade 4 – 7 children took turns in competing against their neighbouring farm-mates to see who knew their multiplication tables best.  Facilitators called sum after sum, round after round until each grade had a winner that would represent them in the final competition against the children from Graham Beck in Robertson.

On 25 June, four Maths Soccer winners from Graham Beck, (one representing each grade), were taken to the Ashton after-school for the inter-farm finals against Arabella and Excelsior.  Two ‘cheerleaders’ had been chosen to join them as they were at a disadvantage without the vocal backing of their classmates. The children in the competition had  studied all multiplication tables from 2 to 12 and they were all extremely well prepared, although a little nervous.  As soon as the times tables had been called out, almost every time the two competitor’s hands shot up in unison and ready to answer (they are not allowed to shout out).  One could see the ‘audience’ quietly working out the answers in their heads.  In the end, there could be only one winner per grade and each victor was given a prize of stationery or toiletries, according to how they had performed.  Prizes were also awarded to the child with the most spirit (ie. the loudest voice) and the winner of each grade was given an educational book to take back to their after-school for use in their classroom.  What a beneficial and fun way to end the term!

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Countdown to Mandela Day

Mr Mandela fought for social justice in our country for 67 years. In celebration, we recognise 18 July – his birthdate - as Nelson Mandela Day. Every year people ask us what they can do to help the Anna Foundation on Mandela Day so if you're eager to help but not sure where to start, we thought we would give a few suggestions.  This year, 18 July falls on a Friday (and it is school holidays) so perhaps that will make it easier for you to take time off work but if not, there are other things you can do to get involved leading up to the day and trust us, all the little things really do make a difference.
1)   Start a winter clothing drive: beanies, gloves, gum boots and winter jackets suitable for primary school-age children
2)  Collect 67 drama props towards our Drama Prop Project
3)  Read to our learners! Visit one of our farm projects and engross our learners in a story.  We’ll even select the books if you like. Many of the children's parents don't read to them so this is always a treat!
4)  Organise an afternoon of arts and craft using recyclable material. “Make something out of nothing”.  Teach the children to sew and make sock puppets.
5)  One of our projects has approximately 67 things that need fixing including a new front door, door locks, window repairs, sealant… (well, not quite 67 things but close)
6)  Donate R67 to the Anna Foundation via the GivenGain website. Ask your colleagues, friends and family to do the same. If 15 people do this, R1000 can help to purchase 20 new soccer balls!
We’re open to your ideas as well – the above are simply suggestions.  If you are keen to get involved, please contact Carolyn
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Thank You

  • Operation Shoebox: Total of R15 000 towards Readers
  • #TBDAfrica Donor: R5000 donation towards gumboots
  • JET Lee Will Trust: Financial donation
  • Hyman Goldberg Foundation: Financial donation
  • Exactocraft: Financial 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: Financial donation and on-going monthly support
  • van der Merwe Family: Financial support for school tuition
  • 1%Club Members: Your monthly support helps a great deal
  • Mountain Runner: Tatum, thank you for the race entries
  • Stellenbosch Gazette (Myron): Prop Drive Insert
  • Wines with Heart: Financial support
  • Holmelea, Barrydale and Nola: Monthly contributions are so appreciated
  • Hannelie Carstens: Book and CD sets
  • MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet and all our 'card swipers': thank you to everyone who voted for us recently
MySchool www.1percentclub.yolasite.com WWH

 

NEWSLETTER ARCHIVES:
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In a Row

 

Anna
Anna with Emma and Caitlin (2½)

 

GUMBOOTS FOR AFRICA
We received a R5000 donation (via Operation Shoebox) from a Twitter Blanket Drive donor with instruction that the money must be used "towards purchasing shoes". At first we considered school shoes but after discovering that a number of children prefer to go to school barefoot rather than wear wet school shoes, it was a no-brainer and gumboots it was!
Gumboots
With this money we have been able to buy 55 pairs of gumboots for our Ashton children to protect them from the muddy farm roads down which they have to walk to and from school.

 

 

Exams
All children in the Anna Foundation write a grade-specific exam

 

 

Drama
Drama Games aimed at improving active listening skills. The one wearing the hat gets to conduct the orchestra.

 

THINGS KIDS SAY
Gr 3 exam question:  Fill in the missing letters so that the following sentences make grammatical sense
Question 2.) "My pa br           die vleis"
With two options given, the answer should have read: "My pa braai die vleis" although many of the children wrote: "My pa brand die vleis". [My father burns the meat, as opposed to barbequeing it!]
Faces The truth always comes out!

 

WACKY WINE TRAIL RUN
The children from Arabella Wines counted down the days until the 6km Wacky Wine Trail Run, one of the many activities forming part of the Robertson Wacky Wine Weekend [Photos].
On 7 June, 23 Arabella children arrived at the start early and very excited. Our yellow beanies were received with appreciation as it was a bitterly cold morning but after a group stretch, the children quickly warmed up. The route through the farm was tough but our children were fit and did us proud, especially Glen (see our Star) for coming in first! Afterwards our well-mannered, well behaved children got to enjoy the jumping castles. What a super event!
Faces

 

STAR OF THE MONTH
Star Glen is in Grade 6 and is really fond of playing all sports but running has to be his favourite (if he had to pick just one!).
In the weeks leading up to the Wacky Wine fun run Glen had verbalised his excitement on numerous occasions, telling his facilitator and Project Manager how much he was looking forward to it. In preparation Glen trained for the 6km  run in his own time and on the big day, we were so proud as Glen finished in 1st place overall! In addition to all of this, he did extremely well in his exams and inter-farm maths olympiad.

 

Maths 1
Maths competitors: "Ooooh, I know this one... umm....."

 

DROP-OFF SPOTS
FOR DRAMA PROPS
Box Please email Carolyn for any queries or call 021 - 885 1922
If you can part with you old tiara, your 70's platforms, dad's old blazer or any other goodies that we can use as drama props, please drop them off at one of the following venues:
STELLENBOSCH:
Builders' Express, Dorp Street
CAPE TOWN:
Rococoa Restaurant & Chocolate Shop
145 Sir Lowry Road, Palms Centre, Woodstock
ROBERTSON:
Robertson Wine Valley Office
Cnr Voortrekker and Reitz

 

 

Mandela Day

 

 

Mandela Day

 

 

Book & CD Donation
Donation
Soetkin (Head of Education) holds a donation of Afrikaans books with corresponding CD, recently given to us by Dr Hannelie Carstens. The books are produced by the Animal Anti-Cruelty League and are very much in line with our teaching of caring for animals and kindness towards all living beings. Thank you, Hannelie (and Klem!) - these beautiful books are most appreciated!

 

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