Lessons at DCS Monday 19 Feb & Tues 20 Feb 2018

Newsletter 21 July 2019
Hello Visitor,

Thank you to all of you who have assisted us in getting the Grade 2 and 3 programmes up and running for 2018.

We will be teaching our Grade 3 learners on Monday in the groups that they were allocated to last week and will be starting lessons with our Grade 2s on Tuesday.

The DCS computer lab is in need of a fan. Should anyone have one that they are not using and can donate it to the school, the IT teacher would really appreciate it as the room is very hot.

Please note the "DATES TO DIARISE" at the end of this newsletter as well as an update on a few of our FEP students including some requests for help.


The learners should be grouped in the various classes before we arrive and we will continue with lessons as usual with the Grade 3s.

On Monday, we will
  • Hand out the books and name tags to each learner (volunteers, please assist with letting us know who still does not have a book, a name tag or photo or whether there are any changes required. New kids are joining the school daily :-)  
  • Team leaders and volunteers to greet the learners and play any ice breaker games - e.g. Simon Says, Kiddies Yoga etc. 
  • Activities will include:
    • Phono-Graphix reading and spelling activities differentiated per group. I've attached a basic lesson plan on the 4 key Phono-Graphix lessons  as well as an information sheet on the method. Volunteers, especially those who have joined us recently  are welcome to attend training offered by Read For Africa. See dates and details below for the first opportunity for training.
    • Recap on the months of the year if they were covered in your session last week.  
  • Groups for Monday:
Where possible we like to encourage volunteers to work with the same group of children each week to ensure consistency and so that one can build up a rapport with specific leaners. However, there may be times where we need to re-allocate volunteers if we are short of volunteers on a particular day.
  • Pink Group with Jenny in Ms Mphahlele’s  class (3B)
    • Tasha; Judith; Carmen; Fannie    
  • Blue Group with Gillean in the Container class room
    • Karin, Gayle, Claire, Engelie;
  • Green Group with Liza & Ms Mphaka in the Library
    • Judy, Liz, Jeanne, Joanne
  • Purple Group with Sachi in Ms Dladla's class (3A)
    • Anthea, Annika, Anette, Joy
  • Orange Group with Meghan in Ms Mphaka's class (3C).
    • Ogechi, Sarah, Leslie, Catarina, Jutta, Aldie
- New volunteers who are planning to join us will be allocated to a group on the first Monday that they attend. (Lohlogonolo; Dimakatso; Ramla, Muneeza; Lesley)
- Apologies if I have left anyone off the list :-)

We meet at Dainfern Valley Shopping Centre at 9am and car pool to Diepsloot and are usually back in Dainfern by 11am.


The plan for Tuesday is for volunteers to be allocated to groups of 3 learners and to start teaching them from the beginning of the programme. (building 3 sound words). We will be focusing on the children who have been identified as needing the most assistance across the Grade.

We have also identified the strongest learners in the Grade who we will be working with so that we can extend these learners and ensure that they are adequately stimulated so that they can be reading at an age appropriate level. This will give them a head start for the rest of their schooling career.

We meet at Dainfern Valley Shopping Centre at 8:30am and car pool to Diepsloot and are usually back in Dainfern by 10:30am.

Our Tuesday Programme is run in collaboration with the St Peter's School Foundation. Read For Africa is involved in the training of student teachers who need to complete certain practical requirements towards their qualifications. These students will work with the balance of the Grade 2 learners whilst pursuing an International Certification in the Phono-Graphix Reading method.

Thank you to the St Peter's Foundation as well as Monica Sloane, June Tromp, Leigh Lidgey and Belinda Gilbert who actively contribute to the work that we do in Diepsloot.

Volunteer Training at St Peter’s School - Wednesday 7th and Thursday 9th March 2018

St Peter’s will be hosting a Phono-Graphix workshop on Wednesday 7th and Thursday 8th March 2018. This would be a great opportunity for any of our new volunteers to learn more about the programme and about teaching reading.

All volunteers are always welcome to attend any of our courses, especially if you would like additional training in the method.

The first afternoon will be an overview of the programme and deal with teaching 3 and 4 sound words (Pink and blue levels) and the second afternoon will deal with more advanced levels (Green and Purple).

Please email buddy@readforafrica.com if you would like to attend this training or would like more information.

Sponsor a Learner (or Multiple Learners) at DCS

Thank you to Bev Du Preez for sponsoring a Grade 3 leaner this week. She has worked with Tyron for the last year teaching him to read and has built up a wonderful rapport with him. It is great that she will continue to support him as he moves up to Grade 3.

4 learners were sponsored by Judith Wonderschutz this week as well which takes the total number of learners sponsored through this new funding opportunity to 10.

A donation of R500 per child will cover all costs Edu Fun incurs for stationery, books and supplies needed to teach that child throughout the year. In addition the donation will cover the costs for the sponsored children to attend the annual zoo trip, receive an Easter gift and participate in the annual Christmas party.

All of our Edu Fun volunteers display tremendous commitment and dedication to helping DCS students improve reading, writing and spelling skills. In addition to teaching the Phono-Graphix method, volunteers and learners form bonds throughout the year not only during lessons but through social Edu Fun activities such as the zoo trip and annual Christmas party.
The hard work of Edu Fun volunteers is reaping rewards for learners. In 2017 assessment scores showed that over the course of the school year grade 3 student reading skills improved by 60% and spelling skills improved by 73%.  
Volunteers who form bonds with specific learners are welcome to select the children (by name) who they would like to sponsor. If you have friends or contacts who don't come to school with us or who live abroad who might be interested in sponsoring a child or children, we can also put together photos and bios of learners and we are happy to update donors with information about the progress of those they have sponsored at various points throughout the school year.
Please contact Liza@readforafrica.com if you would like to find out more or if you would like to contribute to this initiative.


Please continue to "Spread a Little Love" when you can on Mondays

We continue to make peanut butter sandwiches as well donate bags of apples every Monday to supplement the school's feeding programme. Please assist when you can by bringing a loaf of sandwiches and/or a bag of apples. 
Click here to see how the Sandwiches are prepared each week.

Health Project - Meets on Tuesdays

Please email Carolien on cesalbers@gmail.com if you would like more information. This group does eyesight and dental checks with the learners as well as provide nutritional and other guidance.

Whilst having qualified doctors and dentists and other health practitioners on the team is a bonus, one does not need to be qualified to assist.


Baby Club

The Baby Club met on Saturday where the young mums had the opportunity to visit the ‘swap shop’ and exchange clothes that their little ones have grown out of and replace with new ones. 

The moms received nutritional advice, had the opportunity for their babies to have health checks with a qualified doctor.

Click here to find out more about the Baby Club and what Anthea has been up to.


FEP Update and Requests

REQUEST: Thanks to Sue, we now have uncapped Wifi in the library for the students! Sue had to go and buy a cable to connect the router in the computer lab to the library. The caretaker installed the cable and unfortunately, the school’s drill broke in the process. We would like to replace the drill if possible. Does anyone have a drill they no longer use at home to donate to the school?


Beauty is one of our FEP students who matriculated in 2012. Beauty has finished her National Diploma in Analytical Chemistry at University of Johannesburg (UJ), and has consistently been the top student in the Faculty of Science.  Her formal graduation will be during the March graduation season.

She has been chosen by the National Research Foundation (NRF), to be a student assistant to Professor Oluwafemi’s laboratory who is a research professor at UJ and NRF.  The NRF has also offered to pay for her post graduate studies all the way to a PHD.

Beauty’s 2018 plans are to work at Protea Chemicals in Wadeville on a six month training contract starting on the 5th of February and to attend post graduate school at UJ in the evenings.  She was placed in the department of oil and gas at Protea Chemicals.  The main focus in this division is to process and refine oil.  Once it is refined, then they perform tests to see if all the unwanted chemicals have been removed.

REQUEST: Beauty has moved into an unfurnished flat and would appreciate any donations of household essentials such as:  tea kettle, microwave, fridge, and any other items that you may no longer need.  She is especially hopeful for a fridge so that she can save money by being able to buy in bulk. 


Edu Fun volunteers may remember Confidence who attended our Holiday Programme last winter and helped with the Arts portion as well as assisted with teaching reading at the Saturday School. She also came with two friends and helped chaperone the third graders at the Johannesburg Zoo last year. Liza Munson became her mentor back in 2016 and really took Confidence under her wing helping her in so many ways, including teaching her to drive!  It was a pleasure having Confidence as an FEP student and we are really proud of her for finishing her studies and starting her professional career.  Confidence matriculated from DCS in 2012 and graduated from UJ March 2017 with a Diploma in Accounting. On Feb 5th, she started a new job at Alexander Forbes in Sandton working in the Wealth Management department.


Thanks  again to Anette for donating the makeup to Shoki. Great that you had the opportunity to meet each other in person.



It has been great to have Fannie Johnson with us for the start of this year on her annual visit to South Africa. This will be her last week with us.

Amber Salman has worked with Edu Fun for the last few years and is moving to Malaysia. She was looking forward to meeting up with all of us for her last visit to Diepsloot on Monday, however she received sad news of the passing of her mom and had to leave for Pakistan yesterday. She sends her greetings to everyone.

Thank you Amber for your contribution to Edu Fun and the learners at DCS.

Sue and Liza travel back to the UK and USA respectively this week. They both play an integral role in Edu Fun whether they are here or abroad and Jeanne and I are grateful for their input on all levels. We look forward to their speedy return.

Thank you for your continued support of our programmes and for the passion you all have for our DCS learners. Whether you are an expat or a local, you are working with us at an exciting time in South Africa's history whether it's your own or your adopted country ...  the words of our new President in his State of the Nation Address apply to all of you

"Together we are going to make history ... bonded by our common love for our country, resolute in our determination to overcome the challenges that lie ahead and convinced that by working together we will build the fair and just and decent society to which Nelson Mandela dedicated his life .... we are at a moment in the history of our nation when the people, through their determination,
have started to turn the country around"

Thank you for your contribution to turning our country around by helping teach more children to read!

Please see our "Dates to Diarise" below.


Jenny Taylor
082 322 0608



Dates to Diarise 

TERM 1 Every Monday and Tuesday until  Tuesday 13 March 2018                 

Grade 3 Teaching Programme – Monday 19 February 2018

Meet in the Parking lot outside Piatto’s at Dainfern Valley Shopping Centre at 9am for a brief meeting to discuss the assessments.
Car pool to the school at 9:10am.
The assessment session will run from 9:30am to about 10:45am and we should be back at Dainfern Valley Shopping Centre soon after 11am.

Grade 2 Teaching Programme - Tuesday 20 February 2018

This week's lesson is still going to be dedicated to conducting assessments with individual Grade 2 learners.

Meet in the Parking lot outside Piatto’s at Dainfern Valley Shopping Centre at 8:30am for a brief meeting to discuss the assessments.
Car pool to the school at 8:40am.
The assessment session will run from 9am to about 10:15 and we should be back at Dainfern Valley by or shortly after 10:30am.


Ngangifisa Food Distribution - Wednesday 28 February 2018

The next Food distribution will be on Wednesday 28 February at 10am in the school hall at DCS.

Click here to find out what Meghan and her Ngangifisa team are up to.


Phono-Graphix Volunteer Training - Wednesday 7th March and Thursday 8th March 

Training on the Phono-Graphix reading method will take place at St Peter’s School on these two afternoons from 1pm to 4pm.

Edu fun volunteers who work with us on Mondays and Tuesdays in Diepsloot are welcome to join us at St Peter's. If you can only attend one session it would make sense to do so on Wednesday the 7th as this will be a good overview of the programme as well as cover the pink and blue levels of the programme which will demonstrate how we teach 3 and 4 sound words.

Term 1 will continue until Monday 12th and Tuesday 13th March 2018
There will then be a break due to the public and Easter holidays and lessons will resume for the second term on Monday 16 April 2018.

Term 2 - Monday 16 April to Tuesday 19 June 2018

Lessons resume on Monday 16 April and Tuesday 17 April 2018

SCHOOL CLOSED - Monday 30th April and Tuesday 1 May 2018

School continues from Monday 7 May until Tuesday 19 June 2018

Holiday Sports and Buddy Reader Programme - Tuesday 26 June to Thursday 28 June 2018

Edu Fun, in Partnership with Read For Africa and St Peter's School will run the annual Holiday Programme from 8:30am to 1pm daily on Tuesday 26 June, Wednesday 27 June and Thursday 28 June 2018.

Term 3 - Monday 23  July to Tuesday 18 September 2018

Lessons resume on Monday 23 July 2018 until Tuesday 18 September

International Literacy Week Celebrations
- Week starting 3 September 2018

Zoo Trip - Monday 10 September 2018

Heritage Day theme and last day of term on Monday 17 September 2018


Term 4 - Monday 15 October to Tuesday 13 November 2018

Lessons resume on Monday 15 October until Tuesday 13 November 2018
Grade 3 Year End Party - Monday 12 November 2018

Grade 2 Year End Party - Tuesday 13 November 2018