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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
All set for our first community mini-hub
All set for our first community mini-hub

Edu Fun partners with Diepsloot Combined School (DCS) located in an economically disadvantaged informal settlement north of Johannesburg. 

Edu Fun’s focus is usually on teaching reading to children at DCS, however with all schools closing in March due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we had to turn our immediate attention to providing food to the most vulnerable children from the school. For many children, the only meal that they get in a day is what they receive at school as part of a feeding scheme which came to an abrupt halt.

Our volunteers and regular supporters, including those on this GlobalGiving platform helped us respond to the immediate need for families to receive food and people donated generously over this time.

This was a huge relief, because it not only provided food to so many people which is not usually a budgeted item, but more importantly, the support we received gave us the opportunity to connect with the Diepsloot community and individuals in a more meaningful way.

Through this process of connecting with families and providing food, our ever-evolving, post-lockdown plan to feed the minds as well as the mouths of so many children started to emerge.

With all the delays and uncertainty around schools re-opening we have continued to re-imagine our education delivery and are actively setting up mini satellite hubs in various areas in Diepsloot where children and their parents can access additional support from our hub leaders while they’re still not able to go back to school.

For this pilot project we have identified unemployed youth from the community to run the mini hubs. They are all past pupils of DCS and have already started to establish relationships with the families in their immediate communities over the last few weeks as they have been identifying people who need our support the most. These hub leaders will be mentored by our “Virtual Volunteers” and supported via regular Zoom sessions where they will also receive weekly training sessions on how to teach reading using Phono-Graphix.

We have established our first community Hub and are needing your help to sustain it and to expand to other areas in the Diepsloot community to reach more children and try and save what is left of the 2020 academic year.

The following funding is required  

  • $100 will sponsor a Master pack for each mini hub leader - to include whiteboard and markers; solar lamps with USB charging point; kettle; Internet connectivity (dongle/router).
  • $25 will sponsor consumables for each hub per week - pre-paid electricity; airtime/data bundles; disposable masks; sanitisers; soap
  • $20 will sponsor Learner workbooks & stationery per child per month 
  • $30 will sponsor lunches (apple/orange, meals-in-a-bag) for attendees at the mini-hub
Socially distanced lessons start in Ext 6
Socially distanced lessons start in Ext 6
Starter Pack required for each mini-hub
Starter Pack required for each mini-hub
Tasty soup prepared for mini-hub attendees daily
Tasty soup prepared for mini-hub attendees daily

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Our Completed Multi-Purpose Hub
Our Completed Multi-Purpose Hub

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’s core focus is on teaching reading to children in Grade 2 and 3 at Diepsloot Combined School, however we have replicated our Literacy Programme in the Townships of Wakkerstroom and Alexandra and look forward to multiplying our impact further this year.

We have had a great start to 2020. We had the official opening of the Edu Fun Multi-purpose Hub at Diepsloot Combined School. This was a fun day where all our volunteers first did a clean-up around the hub and painted the inside before we celebrated this incredible milestone.

Having the hub has meant that Edu Fun has a "home" where we can have meetings, training sessions and run our various programmes and we no longer need to have meetings and briefing sessions in the car park as space was always very limited.

We had our first Volunteer Phono-Graphix workshop for the year where new volunteers learned about the principles behind the method as well as the 4 key steps that we cover in a lesson so that they can best support the leaders of their group. As children only start to learn English in their second Grade, when it is their second lanaguage we are still busy with building, manipulation and reading 3 sound words such as cot, cat, pot, mop etc. 

The hub is equipped with a sick bay, which the school has never had, an office as well as a training room. This extra space has given us additional teaching venues which means that the approximately 200 Grade 2 learners that we work with on Mondays are now split into 8 groups as opposed to 5 and we’re able to give more personalised attention. Our largest group accommodated 55 kids last year and this year the largest group has 36 children which has made a huge difference. Sadly, this is still a large group but we do allocate 4 to 5 volunteers per group for the weekly literacy hour which does help.

On Tuesdays we work with smaller groups of children from Grade 3. We worked with all of these children when they were in Grade 2 in 2019 and they have been selected, either because they performed very well and we are offering them English Enrichment lessons or because they were identified as needing a bit of extra attention.

It has been exciting to see the building transform into a buzzing hub of activity and whilst we still don’t have all the furniture that we need or the flooring, curtains, blinds etc. as we do not yet have all the necessary funds, we are certainly maximising the use of the venue with weekly literacy lessons, maths lessons, uniforms being mended, food being distributed to the most vulnerable families in the school and children having regular health screens.

 

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


Please consider sponsoring a learner in 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, and 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 GlobalGiving 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 GlobalGiving platform. We invite you to follow the links to our website to read more about us. 

Clearing up the area around the hub
Clearing up the area around the hub
Painting the hub
Painting the hub
Lessons commence in our new hub
Lessons commence in our new hub
Phono-Graphix Workshop for new volunteers
Phono-Graphix Workshop for new volunteers
Building and manipulating 3 sound words
Building and manipulating 3 sound words

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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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Organization Information

Edu Fun

Location: Bryanston Ext 3 - South Africa
Website:
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Project Leader:
Jennifer Taylor
Bryanston Ext 3, South Africa
$13,690 raised of $18,000 goal
 
188 donations
$4,310 to go
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