Wednesday, 21 October 2009

A trip to Babati School, Justicia, province of Mpumalanga

I visited Babati school in Justicia last week, and enjoyed a full day and a half of professional sharing with the staff. Welding, the social liaison between the Singita and the local village hosted me, and we worked together to help create a true reading environment within the school. We sorted out shelving and donated books that had been provided by Biblinef, a wonderful organisation who prints books in all 11 official African languages.
Here I am with the lovely Welding, plus Omar the grade 4 teacher, and Mr Jackson Mdhluli. the principal of the school.
I was able to spend some time in the classroom, showing Omar the principals of shared reading.

The trip was a real eye opener for me: we sometimes think we have insurmountable problems in the Western Cape, but in a rural area such as Justicia, they have the added problem of lack of appropriate resources, and not enough teacher training.
I am very pleased to be able to send on some of our resources to Welding: a wonderful organisation called Wordsworks have forwarded me parent packs in word document form, and I am hoping that Welding will be able to utilize these packs and get the parents involved in their children's learning.

In addition, Singita hopes to encourage visitors to visit the school, and be trained in the method of paired reading. it is such a simple, powerful tool that can help make all the difference to hesitant, early, emerging readers. The highlight of my week.

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