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Help Teach Africa to Read

by Edu Fun
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Help Teach Africa to Read
Help Teach Africa to Read
Help Teach Africa to Read
Help Teach Africa to Read
Help Teach Africa to Read
Help Teach Africa to Read
Help Teach Africa to Read
Help Teach Africa to Read
Help Teach Africa to Read
Help Teach Africa to Read
Help Teach Africa to Read
Help Teach Africa to Read
Help Teach Africa to Read
Help Teach Africa to Read
Help Teach Africa to Read
Edu Fun in Wakkerstroom - Rural Mpumalanga
Edu Fun in Wakkerstroom - Rural Mpumalanga

We are Edu Fun! Improving Literacy in Africa using the Phono-Graphix Reading method. 

We partner with Diepsloot Combined School (DCS) located in an economically disadvantaged informal settlement north of Johannesburg. Many of the children we work with live in shacks without electricity or indoor plumbing. We have started to replicate our Diepsloot programme in other rural and township schools  to address the varied educational, literacy and material needs of other communities who seek our assistance. . 

Edu Fun has had an incredibly busy countdown to the end of the school year as we

  1. Assessed over 600 Grade 1, 2 and 3 students' reading and spelling ability at 3 community sites
  2. Several more teachers and volunteers completed their Phono-Graphix certification which means that more and more learners are being exposed to the same methodology consistently on a weekly and in some cases daily basis. 
  3. We took another team of volunteers to Wakkerstroom - a rural town 3 hours outside of Johannesburg to support a group of teachers and work with the students.
  4. Arranged a school "inning" (as opposed to an outing) where a group called "Hooked on Books" visited Diepsloot Combined School (DCS) to do a show with the Grade 2 and 3 learners
  5. Observed the final touches being made to the building of the Multi-purpose Hub which will become our very own Edu Fun "Home" to house all of our activities, store our equipment and provide extra space for teaching children in smaller groups in an environment where class sizes continue to increase varying from 60 to 84 children in 1 classroom.  

  

READING ASSESSMENTS

We have conducted assessments consistently at the start and end of each academic year for the last 3 years and are able to provide valuable information and trends to the teachers, funders and volunteers and are able to make comparisons between classes, grades, ages, gender, class sizes, the teachers who have been trained in Phono-Graphix and those who haven't and those who participate in extra holiday and Saturday programmes. The trends are fascinating to track and observe. .  

We are still finalising our results report for 2019, which you're welcome to contact us for if you would like a copy. The preliminary overall results for the three Grade 2 classes shows an overall improvement of 45% in 2019. 

 

WAKKERSTROOM  PRIMARY SCHOOL - RURAL MPUMALANGA

Edu Fun has visited Wakkerstroom Primary twice this year. We were there in April with a group of volunteers and returned with another group earlier this month to work with various classes, support the local teachers and volunteers and assess the learners' progress. It was great to see the improvement in the children's reading and spelling. The teachers and students face similar challenges that we experience in Diepsloot.  If funds allow we hope to return to Wakkerstroom at least twice a year from this point forward to keep up the momentum and provide the teachers with the necessary support. 

 

HOOKED ON BOOKS

Hooked on Books is a touring Educational Theatre Company that has been igniting a love of reading in children across our country for the past 25 years.  

With technology increasing and children reading less, "Hooked on Books" hopes that sharing their passion for books in an exciting theatrical manner will get more children reading. 

The production consisted of six story books and a poetry book being dramatised. Hooked on Books employ three professional actors per performance and the books chosen are bought to life with singing, acting, dancing, humour and audience participation. Our kids at DCS had so much fun getting involved with the stories and loved getting up on stage to perform. 

Who knows - this may lead to some children discovering a love for drama as well as reading. We are certain that this experience has ignited imaginations and will lead to more children heading to the library!

We hope to be able to invite this group to perform for the kids on an annual basis. 

 

MULTI-PURPOSE HUB - head office for our Edu Fun activities on site at Diepsloot Combined School

There has been incredible progress with our Multi-purpose Hub on site over the last 3 months and we should be ready to move in to the building in January. It is going to be amazing to have a base on site where we can store our equipment, provide a sick bay and meeting rooms for consultation with the school's learner support and other professionals as well as have an extra space to teach reading as well as train and meet with teachers and volunteers. 

We have a "painting event" scheduled for Saturday 11 January where various volunteer groups will be painting the building which we also hope to kit out before the children return to school on 15 January.

 

SPONSOR A LEARNER / FAMILY OR ACTIVITY FOR 2020

 

The donations that we receive from the Global Giving platform have enabled us to cover things like the "Hooked on Books" experience, and pay for several unbudgeted items such as food, equipment, additional stationery for the ever increasing number of students who enrol at Diepsloot combined each term. We have also started to work towards our long term vision of expanding to other communities and used some of the funds to cover literacy resources when we travelled to  Wakkerstroom.

We are in constant need of additional resources to minimise barriers to learning. Our biggest expense is printing and stationery to provide worksheets and materials for our weekly literacy programme.

We also need to ensure that the 12 most vulnerable families at the school, several of whom are child-headed receive groceries on a monthly basis, that all children have a school uniform in good condition and that they get the medical attention that they need in terms of nutrition, eye sight screening and dental care. 

 

We are grateful for all the donations, especially recurring payments that we receive as US dollars go a very long way in Africa. 

 

Please consider sponsoring a learner for 2020

 

$50 covers all the Edu Fun activities for one child for a whole year. This includes all the stationery requirements - exercise books, pencils, glue, paper as well as participating in the Annual Winter Holiday Buddy Reader, Arts & Sports Programme, Weekly Saturday School Reading Programme as well as fun, yet educational activities such as "Hooked on Books" and a year-end holiday party. 

 

Go to our Global Giving project page to see how else your donations can support the work that we do. For example - $25 dollars covers the cost of groceries for a whole family each month. $100 pays for a full school uniform for a child and $150 secures an appointment at an optometrist for a child who has been identified as needing glasses or further treatment.

 

Thank you for your continued support of our work through the Global Giving platform. We invite you to follow the links to our website to read more about us. 

Our Volunteers who are now Reading Therapists!
Our Volunteers who are now Reading Therapists!
"Hooked on Books" visits DCS
"Hooked on Books" visits DCS
A Multi-purpose Hub For All Edu Fun Activities
A Multi-purpose Hub For All Edu Fun Activities
The teachers and leaders who we work with at DCS
The teachers and leaders who we work with at DCS

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Our Army of regular "Buddy Reader" volunteers
Our Army of regular "Buddy Reader" volunteers

We are Edu Fun! Improving Literacy in Africa using the Phono-Graphix Reading method. 

We partner with Diepsloot Combined School (DCS) located in an economically disadvantaged informal settlement north of Johannesburg. Many of the children we work with live in shacks without electricity or indoor plumbing. The long term vision of Edu Fun is to replicate our Diepsloot programme in other rural and township schools so that we can continue to address the varied educational, literacy and material needs of the population. 

As English literacy is essential for the young learners to break the cycle of poverty, we continue to focus primarily on teaching reading to Grade 2 and 3 learners and to support the teachers at schools to give children more personalised attention in smaller groups as the average class size at DCS and many township schools is 60 children. 

However, if a learner is hungry he won't learn. If a learner has tattered clothing she may not be able to concentrate or may be teased by others. If a learner has a baby she is likely to drop out of school. If a learner can't see or hear or has an illness he won't reach his full potential. All of our Partner Projects were created by Edu Fun volunteers who saw a need and took action to remove/reduce barriers to education. The projects include a Food Pantry, Baby Club, a Health Group and Mending project. We will also have our own "home" and Multi-purpose Hub on the property at DCS by the end of the year to house each of these projects. 

We have been working with the Rotary Club of Sandton (SA) and the Rotary Club of Swindon (UK) who are managing the building of this hub which will give us our own class room, a place to store things like books, stationery, sewing machines and other equipment as well as provide the school with a much needed sick bay and private space for counselling/mentoring and other meetings. We're hoping to get all the building material sponsored by local construction companies and suppliers, but will need to purchase the equipment that will go into the hub such as chairs, tables, projectors, a bed for the sick bay, first aid supplies etc. (See the attached documents and links below to read up on each of these projects.)

 

Since our last report in June we have successfully run our annual 3-day Holiday Winter Buddy Reading Programme, have recommenced our Saturday Reading School for the last two terms to give young children a boost with their reading before the end of the academic year in December. 

 

Holiday Buddy Reader, Art and Sports Programme -  June 2019

We ran our annual Holiday Programme with Read for Africa and St Peter's School for approximately 100 Grade 2 and Grade 3 children at DCS in June this year. The programme is designed to give children who are struggling with learning to read an opportunity to "crack the code" over a 3-day period. Our experience and research  has shown that the "penny drops" consistently by the third day of personalised instruction (1 hour per day) in small groups where children just "get it" and realise that letters are pictures of sound and are able to transfer these new basic skills and knowledge into other contexts when reading.  It was exciting to see this hypothesis in action again this year where both volunteers and learners shared an AHA moment!

 

Saturday Buddy Reading School - every Saturday from 9am to 10:15am

Our Saturday School runs on a similar model to our holiday programme. We have identified 30 Grade 2 children who would benefit from the help. The programme is run by 3 teachers at Diepsloot Combined School. 1 teacher is a certified Phono-Graphix Reading Therapist and has been using the programme for the last 3 years and is mentoring 2 new teachers in the programme as they work towards their International Certification. Our usual volunteers are invited to support the programme and enjoy having the option to bring their own children, spouses and friends to volunteer on certain Saturdays. 

 

Our focus now turns to International Literacy Week which we will be celebrating from the 8th of September.  We have also started planning our year-end graduation party that we will be hosting for 200 children and will be needing to raise funds to give each child a certificate, meal and a gift for the holidays.  

 

It's due to your generosity and continued support via the Global Giving platform that we are able to provide these services and multiply our impact at schools like Diepsloot Combined. 

 

Thank you

Partner Projects - reducing barriers to learning
Partner Projects - reducing barriers to learning
Multi-purpose hub ready to be built on site
Multi-purpose hub ready to be built on site
One on One Reading at the Holiday Programme
One on One Reading at the Holiday Programme

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Teacher Training - Phono-Graphix Reading Method
Teacher Training - Phono-Graphix Reading Method

We are Edu Fun! Improving Literacy in Africa using the Phono-Graphix Reading method. 

We partner with Diepsloot Combined School (DCS) located in an economically disadvantaged informal settlement north of Johannesburg. Many of the children we work with live in shacks without electricity or indoor plumbing.

The long term vision of Edu Fun has been to replicate our Diepsloot programme in the rural and township schools that the Phono-Graphix Reading method has been implemented in, in order to address the varied educational, literacy and material needs of the population. 

We have shown time and time again, that the success of our literacy programme is due to volunteers using the same method and working in collaboration with the teachers who are able to give more personalised attention to the students. With large class sizes of 50 to 80 children in one classroom, including children with special educational needs, it's next to impossible and unrealistic to think that one teacher can reach every student. These children are also only exposed to English for the first time in the second grade, but expected to be as proficient as their English speaking peers in suburban schools by the time they are in Grade 4 when all academic subjects are taught in English.

With the support that we have had from our donors on the GlobalGiving platform, the idea of replicating this model became a reality in April this year when our Education team travelled to eSizameleni/Wakkerstroom to work with a group of teachers, students and local volunteers. 

Wakkerstroom is a quaint town 3 hours outside of Johannesburg and is situated on the border of Mpumalanga and Kwa-Zulu Natal. eSizameleni is the township where we worked with the teachers and the local community. The idea was to replicate our Diepsloot programme and conduct a literacy hour in each of the Grade 1 and 2 classes. We did this on 3 consecutive mornings, team teaching with the local teachers and encouraging as many local volunteers from eSizamelani and Wakkerstroom to join us. The intention is for these volunteers to continue to support the teachers on a weekly basis now that that they have the model and the training. The teachers had already received training earlier in the year and were trying their best in a challenging environment and requested further assistance. 

Our Education team volunteered their time and own resources to reduce Edu Fun’s costs and make this trip possible. The children were quite reserved and uncertain on day 1, warmed up a bit by day 2 and by day 3 many had that "AHA moment” that teachers and volunteers live for. That moment of truth where we just know that the penny has dropped and children have understood that letters are pictures of sound and that reading is merely about "cracking the code".

We hope to be able to return to Wakkerstroom/eSizameleni in August this year if funds permit. 

We returned to Johannesburg (exhausted), but with renewed passion and insight, knowing for sure that 3 consecutive days of Phono-Graphix instruction is more effective than 1 lesson a week until you have consolidated the basic skills.

We immediately started planning a 3-day challenge for the Grade 2 children in Diepsloot who, 4 months into the academic year were still struggling to grasp the basic skills. Our local volunteers spent 3 consecutive days in Diepsloot this week working with the same group of 4 children every day. It was wonderful to see the sparkle in our volunteers eyes when the kids had that "AHA moment” on day 2 or 3 of the programme.

So on that note we now focus our energy on our annual 3-day Holiday Buddy Reader, Art and Sports programme that we will run on 18, 19 and 20 June 2019 for approximately 90 Grade 2 and 3 students.  Each day, the students enjoy one-on-one customised reading lessons as well as daily art and sport sessions. The programme is provided free of charge to the students thanks to many generous individual cash and in-kind donors as well as many volunteers who give of their time to make these programmes possible.

The children who attend receive breakfast, lunch and snacks each day and get prizes and other gifts depending on the donations we receive.  The 3-day programme costs approximately $20 per child to run.

Thank you for your continued support and interest!

Word building at Wakkerstroom Primary School
Word building at Wakkerstroom Primary School
Meghan assisting one of the Wakkerstroom students
Meghan assisting one of the Wakkerstroom students
Gillean with local teachers and volunteers in GR
Gillean with local teachers and volunteers in GR
Our recent 3-day challenge - small groups
Our recent 3-day challenge - small groups
Art classes at our annual Holiday Programme
Art classes at our annual Holiday Programme

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Diepsloot, an informal settlement in South Africa
Diepsloot, an informal settlement in South Africa

We are Edu Fun! Improving Literacy in Africa

We partner with Diepsloot Combined School (DCS) located in Diepsloot, an economically disadvantaged informal settlement north of Johannesburg. Diepsloot is home to approximately 250,000-500,000 people many of whom live in shacks without electricity or indoor plumbing.

 

We are a volunteer led organisation and our mission is to improve English literacy for grade 2 and 3 students at DCS. None of our work would be possible without our generous donors. Thank you for supporting Edu Fun! 

 

With the start of the New Year came an influx of new learners (our academic year starts in January). The Grade 2 class now exceeds 200 learners in just 3 classes (that’s an average class size of ~70 learners per classroom). During January our volunteers completed the assessments of all of these Grade 2’s in record time, which meant that we were quickly able to group similarly skilled learners together. Due to the support of our loyal volunteers, we’re able to divide the grade into 5 groups for our weekly lessons, where children are being taught in smaller groups of 35 to 45 children, but with the assistance of 4 or 5 volunteers/assistants. 

 

Last year and since inception, we have focussed on 100% of the Grade 3 class and a smaller group of Grade 4 or Grade 2 learners. Given the positive assessment results at the end of 2018, we made the strategic decision to shift our focus to 100% of the Grade 2 class and about 2/3rds of the Grade 3 class, depending on the number of volunteers and the funding we get. The reasoning behind this is quite simple. In Grade 2, this is typically the learner’s first introduction to English. If we can expose them to the Phono-Graphix reading and spelling method from the beginning, we should see even more impressive results this year, giving these children a one-year advantage.

 

For the Grade 3’s we are focusing on two groups of learners. Firstly, the learners who struggled last year and didn't consolidate the basic skills of reading. This will give them a fighting chance in Grade 4, when all their classes are taught in English. Another group of children really excelled, and we are trying to maximise their potential - we call it “Harvesting the Harvards”. Our work is not limited to teaching reading, but also aims to instil a love for reading in children and this is a great platform to do just that, enriching these learners’ reading, vocabulary and comprehension skills

 

Each learner is issued with a name badge and a covered exercise book to work in, during their literacy lessons. We then supply all stationery for the year in terms of pencils, sharpeners and worksheets. Our biggest expense is the printing of worksheets and other teaching aids.

 

We are so grateful to all the Global Giving donors who have made the purchase of desks and chairs possible. From the donations we have received from Global Giving this year, we have been able to purchase much needed desks and chairs for the ever-increasing large class sizes. The largest class in the school currently has 84 children. 

 

We are grateful for our partner projects which are varied, but all have a similar theme – each was developed to provide support to remove barriers to education so that learners' basic needs are met so that they can focus on their school work. If a learner is hungry he won't learn. If a learner has tattered clothing s/he may not be able to concentrate or could be teased by others. If a learner can't see or hear properly or has an illness he won't reach his full potential.

 

 

Thank you to  the following projects which are crucial to the work that we do and were all created by volunteers who saw a need. 

  • Ngangifisa - the Food Pantry providing groceries on a monthly basis to the most vulnerable families in Diepsloot, many of which come from child-headed homes.
  • The Health Group - providing eye, dental and nutritional screenings 
  • The Top-Up Project - mending school uniforms and sourcing new uniforms and shoes for the children who need it most.
  • Further Education Programme (FEP) - supporting past students from DCS who are studying at university or have graduated and looking for employment. 
  • The Baby Club - supporting young mums who are trying to stay in school

 

Working in partnership with these groups means that we can develop children holistically and all work towards a common goal. 

 

We rely 100% on donations to make our work of improving literacy possible. On behalf of all of the Edu Fun board, volunteers, DCS staff and the young learners with whom we work, we thank all of our generous donors for your continued support and we hope that this report shows you the tangible differences that your donations are helping to make.

THANK YOU

Bodil, an Edu Fun volunteer assessing a learner
Bodil, an Edu Fun volunteer assessing a learner
First week back at school and the lack of desks.
First week back at school and the lack of desks.
Broken chairs being used as desks ....
Broken chairs being used as desks ....
Some of the chair and desk donations received.
Some of the chair and desk donations received.
More desk and chair donations.
More desk and chair donations.

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GlobalGiving Donor Report December, 2018
We Are Edu Fun! 

Our Mission: TEACH AFRICA TO READ

 

We partner with the Diepsloot Combined School (DCS) located in the informal settlement of Diepsloot, an economically disadvantaged informal settlement in Northern Johannesburg. Diepsloot is home to approximately 250,000-500,000 people many of whom live in shacks without electricity or indoor plumbing. We are a volunteer led organisation and our mission is to improve English literacy for grade 2 and 3 students at DCS. None of our work would be possible without our generous donors. Thank you for supporting Edu Fun!

 

We are pleased to share our newly created Edu Fun logo with all of you. We think it captures the spirit and purpose of our work.

 

All volunteers were very busy during the months of October and November personally assessing each of the 357 children in grades 2 and 3. The purpose of the assessments is to gauge the progress of the learners over the course of the school year and to allow for analysis of our teaching methods. Assessment results are also used to measure the impact of our extra programmes such as our 3 day Holiday Programme and our Saturday lessons. Thanks to volunteer Karen for conducting many hours of analysis. We are pleased to present a summary of the Edu Fun assessment results for the 2018 school year.  
Overall the grade 3 learners improved by 82% in their combined reading and spelling scores over the course of the year. Those who attended Saturday School lessons improved by 400%

 

Overall the grade 2 learners improved by 181% in their combined reading and spelling scores over the course of the year. Those who attended Saturday School lessons improved by 527%
We look forward to sharing more metrics and results with our supporters in the near future.

 

Our annual Edu Fun Joburg Zoo trip took place in September and thanks to many generous donors and tremendous volunteer support, we were able to bring the entire grade 3 class of 195 learners from Diepsloot Combined School to the Joburg Zoo. Many of the children rarely have the opportunity to travel outside of Diepsloot and they all thoroughly enjoyed viewing the wild animals, running in the grass and playing in the zoo playground.

Thank you to the following organisations who contributed time, services and support to make the zoo trip possible.

  • Tyrone Fruiterers in Parkview for donating the oranges.
  • Joburg City Parks and the Joburg Zoo for free entrance into the zoo for the kids.
  • The AKA Sorority for providing lunch for each child.
  • Bus 2000 Bus Services for providing the buses at a discounted fee.

We wrapped up the school year with fun holiday celebrations for the learners in both grades 2 and 3. The children in grade 2 that Edu Fun volunteers work with each week were treated to a cupcake decorating party. Volunteers baked cupcakes and supplied loads of frostings, colourful sprinkles and decorations. The kids loved creating their own personal masterpieces. Of course they also loved eating the finished products.

 

The grade 3 learners also enjoyed a holiday celebration complete with lunch and gifts. We wish to thank The Hakuna Matata House for generously donating colouring books for each child. In addition, a big thank you to the ladies of AKA Sorority for kindly providing lunch and a drink for each Grade 3 learner for the party. 

 

On behalf of all of the Edu Fun volunteers, DCS staff and the young learners we work with, we wish to thank all of our generous donors for your support in 2018. We rely 100% on donations to make our work of improving literacy possible. We are pleased that our teaching is proving successful and that the data shows such impressive improvement and impact. We look forward to continuing our efforts in 2019. Happy Holidays! 


Assessing a Learner
Assessing a Learner
Grade 3 Kids Enjoying the Zoo
Grade 3 Kids Enjoying the Zoo
Grade 2 Cupcake Decorating
Grade 2 Cupcake Decorating
Grade 3 Holiday Party
Grade 3 Holiday Party
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Organization Information

Edu Fun

Location: Bryanston Ext 3 - South Africa
Website:
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Project Leader:
Jennifer Taylor
Bryanston Ext 3, South Africa
$11,912 raised of $18,000 goal
 
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