| Mar 4, 2021
Early Learning Updates
So much has changed since we sent our last report in November 2020! At that time our Neighbourhood ECD clusters were in full swing and there was an air of excitement about Christmas, the new year and things getting back to (somewhat) normal. We reopened the doors of our community centre for a short time on 7th December and had 150 children attending our Siyazazi programme for children from Gr 4-7. It was so wonderful to have children in the skate park and community centre again. But sadly throughout the month, the rate of infection in our community climbed significantly and it became unsafe to conduct our programmes for children (including our Neighbourhood ECD). We, therefore, had to revert to our Learning at Home programme for the time being.
But our Neighbourhood ECD programme was still open for most of December and facilitators got to spend a little bit more time reading wonderful books and doing fun activities with children before they had to pack everything back up.
One of the books we explored with the children was a real hit with everyone during that time.
Lara the Yellow Ladybird by Catherine Holtzhausen, Martha Evans and Nadene Kriel is about Lara, a ladybird who learns about uniqueness and self-acceptance. Lara’s wings are yellow rather than red and when she tries to blend in and make them the same as everyone else, she learns that being unique is a wonderful and important thing. This book was very popular with children in both Neighbourhood ECD clusters and our Thandukwazi Outdoor programme for children from Gr R-3. Children in Neighbourhood ECD clusters got to read Lara twice. The first time they read through the story and discussed the plot. Later in the week, they read the book again and did some activities relating to the theme, like searching for different kinds of insects on a Discovery Walk and painting a ladybird of their very own on a paper plate.
Zooming out, we are delighted to share that, even though we did not run our normal programming in 2020 due Covid-19, our modified programming (which included Learning at Home and Neighbourhood ECD clusters) appears to have had a notable positive impact on children’s development. To evaluate the relative success of groups that were comprised of children from our Imbewu ECD and Ndunge ECD programmes, we conducted a series of assessments with children throughout the year. The areas of assessment for 2020 were Language and Literacy, Numeracy, Empathy and Creativity and we’ll be sharing more of this data in our annual Impact Report which will be published within the next few months.
We are excited to report that, from the last week on March 2021, we will again be transitioning from Learning @ Home to Neighbourhood ECDs and we are absolutely thrilled to be able to offer in-person learning again!
We are optimistic that Early Learning will reach new heights in 2021 and thank you for joining us on the journey!