Lessons at DCS Monday 26 Feb & Tues 27 Feb 2018

Newsletter 23 March 2018if thereif t
Hello Visitor,

Please note a few requests for students as well as "DATES TO DIARISE" at the end of this newsletter.  

Lessons this week


The learners should be grouped in the various classes before we arrive and we will continue with lessons as usual with the Grade 3s. The teachers have been given updated lists and colour stickers to make the grouping process easier this coming week :-)

On Monday, we will
  • Hand out the books and name tags to each learner. If there is a learner in your class who does not have a book, it either means that the learner is in the wrong group or has started at the school in the last week. Please check the master list and try and send that learner to the correct group.  
  • 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 this year.
    • The months of the year can be revised and if teachers have time, they will have the option of doing the attached "Days of the week" activity.
Groups for Monday:
  • Pink Group with Jenny in Ms Mphahlele’s  class (3B)
  • Blue Group with Gillean in the Container class room
  • Green Group with Ms Mphaka in the Library
  • Purple Group with Sachi in Ms Dladla's class (3A
  • Orange Group with Meghan in Ms Mphaka's class (3C).  
Where possible we like to encourage volunteers to work with the same group of children each week to encourage 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.

New volunteers will be allocated to groups on the first day that they join the programme.

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

Volunteers will work with the same small groups of children as they did this last week building 3 sound words. Over the next few weeks we will re-evaluate the grouping of learners in cases where children can't speak any English or are not able to recall many of the sounds.

These learners have all been grouped according to their assessed ability, in terms of their skills. These assessments will be made available so that the volunteers can see how their learners performed in their assessments. It's only after working with the learners for a few lessons that one can confirm the grouping. We can't establish the learners' ability to speak, how they behave or recall work taught until we have spent some time with each child.

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

Volunteer Training at St Peter’s School - Wednesday 7th and Thursday 8th 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 who  volunteer at DCS are always welcome to attend any of our courses, especially if you would like additional or more in-depth training in our 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). If you would like to pursue an international certification in Phono-Graphix, you would still need to attend an additional assessment workshop.  I've attached an information sheet on the course and the certification option for volunteers.

The course will be run at St Peter's Girls Prep at 105 Witkoppen Rd, Paulshof.

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 Keren Grant  for sponsoring 4 Grade 3 leaners this week. It was great that she got to meet some of these learners during her brief visit to DCS earlier this month.

This takes the total number of learners sponsored through this new funding opportunity to 14. 

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.

Thank you - Lauri and Eric Munson

Liza and Ben recently went shopping at Makro for 17 new chairs for the library. This was made possible due to an amazing donation, thanks to Eric and Lauri Munson.  Thank you!


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 now meets on Friday. This club caters for your teenage mums who aren’t trying to stay in school whilst dealing without the challenges of parenthood.

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


Student Requests

FEP STUDENT - items for new home needed
Beauty, one of our FEP students 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. 

Two of the Food Pantry learners on the Ngangifisa programme are in need of new school shoes. The sizes required are South African men's size 8 for Thato and size 7 for Tebogo, who are both in Grade 12. These can be given to Meghan on Monday or Tuesday. If you have any pairs that you would like to donate but do not have the above sizes please still bring them along as there is a constant need.  

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 26 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 lesson 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 27 February 2018

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 lesson 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