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Help Teach Africa to Read

by Edu Fun
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
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

Links:

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.

Links:

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

September 9 GlobalGiving Report


We Are Edu Fun!

Volunteer Chenape and a grade 2 learner find a quiet place outside of the classroom to read for an hour every Tuesday morning.



Teaching Children in Diepsloot, South 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!


Learning to Read Builds Confidence

Meet Anile, she’s a grade 3 student at DCS. We asked her about learning to read and she said, “every day I am reading, on blue team!” You can see her excitement! https://youtu.be/7SH1rO-gDdM


How We Teach

We utilise the Phono-Graphix method, a straightforward reading and spelling method developed in America. The method educates learners that letters are pictures of sounds, sounds can be represented by more than one letter or combinations of letters and that combinations of letters can also represent multiple sounds. Edu Fun volunteers are invited to attend Phono-Graphix training sessions throughout the year but anyone who is literate in English is encouraged to join us as anytime as a volunteer at DCS! Our work is making an impact! Last year student reading skills improved by 60% and spelling skills by 73%. Teachers at DCS are also trained in the Phono-Graphix method.

Class sizes at the school are very large and English is not the first language of the students or their teachers. To help address these challenges, we work closely with school administrators, teachers and students and help to teach reading, reading comprehension, spelling and writing in smaller group settings our pink, blue, green, purple and orange groups. We aim to provide learners with individualized attention and customised lessons appropriate to each learner's ability.



Preparations Underway For Literacy Week 2018

International Literacy Day is September 8. Throughout the week, we will be celebrating with the learners at DCS through a specially developed lesson featuring a favorite book, The Hungry Caterpillar. Each child in grade 2 and grade 3 will also receive brand new books to take home thanks to an anonymous donor and an organisation called Book Dash.



Saturday School Resumes This Week

Last year an Edu Fun volunteer organised Saturday lessons to provide support for DCS students struggling to learn to read. The programme resumed earlier this year and will begin again for the term on Saturday 8 September. Twenty grade two learners have been identified and invited to participate. The kids will receive help learning three and four sound words in a group setting. Teachers from DCS will run the programme with support from Edu Fun.


Photos from Saturday School lessons





--
Liza Munson
I invite you to check out my blog

 

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Organization Information

Edu Fun

Location: Bryanston Ext 3 - South Africa
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Jennifer Taylor
Bryanston Ext 3, South Africa
$10,012 raised of $15,000 goal
 
139 donations
$4,988 to go
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