Lessons Resume on Monday 7 October and Tuesday 8 October 2019

Newsletter 19 October 2019

Hello Visitor,


Our Saturday Lessons resume tomorrow and our usual weekly lessons on Monday 7th and Tuesday 8th October. For the next few weeks we will also be at Sefikeng School and are appealing to volunteers to assist us when they can. 

The Education Team met this week and we have an action packed final term planned for the next 6 weeks. 

Sachi, Jutta, Meghan, Lianne, Gillean, Jenny

We need to assess 600 children in this time at 2 sites, host a performance by a group called "Hooked on Books" for all the Grade 2s; witness the daily progress being made with the Health Hub; one last trip to Wakkerstroom for this year (which you're all invited to); the year-end parties for Grade 2 and 3 learners and our sisters at the AKA Sorority are hosting a fundraiser   .... WOW! I'm out of breath already!  

Our sorority sisters at Alpha Kappa Alpha are hosting their 5th Annual Wine Tasting on Saturday 16 November 2019.  


Read Below About:

  1. Our Saturday Buddy Reader Programme resumes this Saturday - 9am to 10:15am.
  2. Update on little "Office" in Malawi.  
  3. Past DCS pupil - Nopinki Alem is moving from a shack in Diepsloot to an RDP flat this week and needs help equipping her new home with furniture and appliances - please see her wish list below. 
  4. The Building of the Multi-purpose/Health Hub - things are moving nicely!
  5. Our usual Teaching programme for Monday 7 October and Tuesday 8 October -  this week
    • ​For the next few weeks we will be conducting assessments on Wednesdays at Sefikeng from 8:30 to 9:30.  See details below
  6. "Hooked on Books" to perform for all the Grade 2 learners on Monday 28 October 2019
  7. A final trip to Wakkerstroom for this year and you're ALL invited 
  8. How you can sponsor a learner and support other on-going campaigns
  9. See what our Partner Projects are up to and how you can get involved.​ 
  10. Important Dates to Diarise - additional calendar attached for ease of reference

1. Saturday Buddy Reader Programme - Weekly 9am to 10:15am 

Our Saturday Buddy Reader programme runs from 9:00am to 10:15 every Saturday. If any volunteers can join on any given Saturday (during term time) it would be greatly appreciated so that the kids can get more personalised attention. The programme is run by 3 DCS teachers, and is not dependent on us, but any extra help is appreciated. 

Jenny will be going through tomorrow, so if you would like to join, you can meet her at Piatto's at 8:40am.  Please just send Jenny a message so she knows to look out for you! 

2. Update on the young Malawian boy "Office" who is now in Tanzania for his treatment. 

Thank you so much to Anthea Eckstein who sponsored the flights to Tanzania for Office and his mom so that he could get the treatment he needed.  

Thank you for your continued interest and support. 

Follow Office and his story here on the Malawi Children's Mission Facebook Page 


3. Nopinki - DCS past pupil and member of the sewing group needs help to kit out her new flat.

Nopinki is moving into your new flat this week and still needs a bit of help in kitting out her new home and would really appreciate some help if you have any of the items listed below to give her.  Please get in touch with Sue to make arrangements to get any of the items to Nopinki. Email sue@visibleinc.co.uk.  

Nopinki and the area where her new flat will be


Nopinki's Wish List
Security bolt for the door
Coffee table
Kitchen kits

4. Building of the Multi-Purpose / Health Hub 

Sue Huck returns from the UK this week and will be seeing the major developments with the HUB.  She has been working with the Rotary Club of Swindon in the UK and The Rotary Club of Sandton over the last few years to get a Multi-Purpose / Health Hub built at DCS. This hub will provide the school with a much needed sick bay, a class room and meeting area for Edu Fun activities as well as a venue to house all of our partner projects. We will finally have a home to house our projects, run buddy reader sessions and store all of our equipment.

We are looking forward to welcoming Sue back to DCS on Tuesday and to seeing her reaction when she sees how her vision has come to life! 

Sue Huck and the technical team met on 20 August still in planning
stages standing in the exact spot that the HUB was due to be built.


Fast forward 6 weeks and look at it now!!!!
Thank you Sue and all her friends and Rotarians for the most amazing gift that you could be giving Edu Fun and DCS.  A gift that will keep giving for decades to come!

5. Teaching Programme this coming week - Monday 7 October and Tuesday 7 October 2019 - Lessons continue and some assessments begin 

Volunteers will meet Gillean on Monday and Jenny on Tuesday at Piatto's at 8:30am to car pool to Diepsloot. Please read the basic lesson plans for Monday and Tuesday below and attached.   

Monday 7 October 2019

We work with 200 + Grade 2 learners every Monday. All the children have been assessed and have been grouped
into ability levels. 

Most of the groups are working in the Pink Level of our programme, building and manipulating 3 sound word, but we are starting to introduce 4 sound words in some of the groups. The basic lesson plans and worksheets are attached to give you an idea of how we teach as well as the words that we will cover. 

We try to allocate volunteers to the same group each week but we might make some changes on the day. 

The groups will be as follows

  • The Pink Group will be with Lianne Bantjes, Ms  Nkosi  in the 2a classroom. The focus here will be on 3 sound words, but starting with the first few letters of the programme c, a, t, o , p, m, s, f.  Volunteers: Annika, Dudu, Cornie, Liesel, Natasha, 

  • ​The Blue Group will be with Gillean and Ms Mothapo in the Grade 2b classroom. The focus here will be on 4 sound words and using the same skills and letters learned to date when building, manipulating, reading and spelling slightly longer words. Volunteers: Gayle, Anne, Claire, Angela 

  • The Green Group will be with Sachi and Ms Makgoba in Grade 2c. The focus here will be on revising all the 3 sound words and finalising the Pink Level of the programme. This group will be moving onto the Blue level soon where the same sounds will be repeated, but with 4 sound words. Volunteers: Judy F, Harriet, Monique, Allyson. 

  • The Purple Group will be with JuttaNthabiseng and Jeanne. The focus here will be on 4 sound words and using the same skills and letters learned to date when building, manipulating, reading and spelling slightly longer words.

  • The Orange Group will be in the container classroom with MeghanWe will be starting with assessments with this group.  Volunteers: Priyanka; Judy V.

Where possible, volunteers work with the same groups each week

New volunteers will be assigned before the lesson and sometimes volunteers will be asked to assist a different group to try and balance the number of volunteers in each group. 

We meet at Dainfern Valley Shopping Centre at 8:30 outside Piatto's and car pool to Diepsloot and will be back in Dainfern by 10:30/10:45

Gillean will be the meeting person at Piatto's. 


Monday lessons are in larger groups ranging from 35 to 50 children where we have one group leader
assisted by 3 to 4 other volunteers and a DCS class teacher in some cases. 


Tuesday 8 October 2019

Volunteers work with small groups of Grade 3 learners on Tuesdays. Each volunteer is allocated to 3 or 4 learners at similar ability levels.  Regular volunteers will be assigned to the same group of learners each week. 

The Tuesday programme is a great opportunity for volunteers to work towards their international certification as a Phono-Graphix Reading Therapist. We work in small groups and work through the programme systematically teaching children to read from 3 and 4 sound words on wards.  We currently have 4 of our volunteers working on their internship. 

All groups will start on the Pink Level focusing on 3 sound words. The following techniques are followed each lesson which are elaborated on in the attached lesson plans. 

  • Word building

  • Phoneme Manipulation

  • Word Reading

  • Word Spelling

Volunteers meet at Dainfern Valley Shopping Centre at 8:30am outside Piatto's and carpool to Diepsloot and are usually back in Dainfern by 10:30am.

Jenny will be the meeting person on Tuesday at Piatto's.


Tuesday lessons are in smaller groups  - 1 adult with 1 to 3 learners in a group. 
Several volunteers who attend on Tuesdays are working towards their international certification 
as a Phono-Graphix Reading Therapist which is an option offered to all regular volunteers.

Wednesday 9 October

We will be doing Assessments at Sefikeng Primary School. If you're able to assist, please let Jenny know so she can make arrangements to meet you. The school is on the Leeukop Prison Property off Main Road, near Kyalami.  The session is from 8:30 to 9:30am. We meet at the Lonehill Shopping Centre parking lot at 8am and carpool to the school. 

6. Hooked on Books - Monday 28 October 2019

Hooked on Books will be visiting the school on Monday 28 October, so all learners and volunteers will be in he hall from 9am to 10am.

Thank you to Lianne for this great idea. This should be a lot of fun for everyone. 

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. 


7. Final trip to Wakkerstroom for the year - 5th, 6th, 7th November - Do join us!



We are headed to Wakkerstroom again for a follow up visit. We will leave on the morning of the 5th of November and return on the afternoon of Thursday the 7th. 
Read For Africa trained a group of teachers this time last year and has been back a few times for follow up training and support. With large class sizes and similar challenges to what we experience at DCS, it was great to be able to take a team of Edu Funners to Wakkerstroom in April and show other teachers and volunteers how we  operate.

We are looking to provide the same support next month and would LOVE to have more of you join us on this exciting Educational Adventure. You can experience some of rural South Africa, help us to expand on the Edu Fun vision and volunteer your time so that the children, teachers and the local community can benefit too and replicate what we do.

Volunteers who would like to join us can make a donation of R1500 to Edu Fun which will include accommodation for 2 nights at the Laventaba Guest House as well as traveling expenses. This would include breakfast. We would then each make our own plans for lunch and dinner.  


You may want to follow this link to read up on Wakkerstroom. You are also welcome to make your own travel and accommodation arrangements as there are a few options.  

Wakkerstroom is a quaint town 3 hours outside of Johannesburg and is situated on the border of Mpumalanga and Kwa-Zulu Natal.  In isiZulu, the river that passes close to town is known as Uthaka (Utaga), which roughly translates into a wide-awake river or a lively stream. Hence the name Wakkerstroom - Afrikaans for "awake river".

Esizameleni is the township that is adjacent to the town where we will be working with teachers and the local community. The idea is that we replicate our Monday morning literacy hour in each of the Grade 1 and 2 classes for 3 consecutive mornings while local volunteers shadow us.

8. Phono-Graphix Reading Method  -  Volunteers welcome to attend our full 1.5 day course starting Saturday 2 November 2019

Our literacy lessons are based on the Phono-Graphix Reading Method and all volunteers are welcome to attend training with Read for Africa at any stage.

Once a term we do schedule a Phono-Graphix Coffee session at Piatto's where new volunteers can attend a brief and informal training session (approx 1 hour) where the basic concepts behind the method are discussed and demonstrated. 

If you missed the session this term you can click on this link to watch a YouTube video which gives you an overview of the method and some insight into teaching reading in SA. You can fast forward to about the 11th minute if you just want to view a bit of a demonstration on how we build words and do buddy reading. 


Regular volunteers are also welcome to attend a more in-depth course on Phono-Graphix and can visit the Read for Africa website or email buddy@readforafrica,com to find out about the courses. Volunteers can attend courses at no charge, but if you would like your own set of resources for personal use or would like to work towards the international certification in the method, there would be a nominal fee and you would need to complete your 12-lesson internship at Diepsloot Combined or Sefikeng School. 

Our next course starts on Saturday 2 November.  Let us know if you would like to attend.



Nthabiseng is the most recent volunteer to receive her International Certification as a Phono-Graphix Reading Therapist. We now have 4 volunteers who have completed their internships at Diepsloot combined and are certified. There are 7 volunteers currently enrolled in the programme who should be finalising their internships over the next few weeks. 

We have a standing arrangement with Read for Africa that any of our volunteers can attend an in-depth 1.5 day course at no charge and pay a nominal fee for the certification if their internship (12 lessons) is conducted at Diepsloot Combined or Sefikeng Schools.

9.a. Sponsor a learner at Diepsloot Combined - R500 per child/year 

If you are in a position to make a donation of R500 you will be paying for all the Edu Fun activities including literacy classes for one child in Grade 2 or 3 for a year. As you know the class sizes get bigger each year which increases our stationery and printing bill exponentially each year.

This amount covers all the stationery and worksheets for the year as well as any special excursions or gifts. All the kids receive the same benefits throughout the year, but it obviously just helps us to reduce our costs and provide more to each child when individual kids are sponsored.

When you sponsor a child we allocate a learner to you and send you a photo. We then send progress reports and updates on their progress at various stages in the year.

In order to get a South African Tax certificate please do an EFT into the Edu Fun bank account. 

You can sponsor a learner via EFT (bank details below) or you can follow this link to make a credit card payment.  Please leave an "appreciation message" as "SPONSOR A LEARNER & YOUR NAME" in the relevant section.

Bank: FNB
Branch: Randburg  
Branch Code:  254005  
Account Name:  Edu Fun  
Account Number:  62242345438

Please send us an email and let us know when you've made a payment and give us the name of the child you would like to sponsor or we will just allocate one of the children to you. Please also indicate via email if you would like a South African tax certificate.

If you pay tax in the United States or the UK, the Global Giving Platform may be of interest to you. 


9.b. On-going Campaigns - please share this information with your friends and colleagues

The Global Giving and MySchool platforms have increased our fundraising potential as these are both platforms that make it very easy for our supporters to give us money. 

Click on ether of the images below to find out more about both of these campaigns. If you have a Woolworths card, you can very easily link it to our MySchool campaign which means Woolworths will give Edu Fun money every time you swipe your card, at NO cost to you.  You can also fill out the attached form and send it to us or directly to My School. 

Please note that  Walton's is also a MySchool partner - so please keep this in mind when buying all your stationery. 



Thank you to many of you who have already linked your cards and are already swiping away with your card so that Edu Fun can benefit. 





Ngangifisa and the Food Pantry 

Ngangifisa supports 12 of the most vulnerable families in DCS. Within these 12 families there are 55 children. Most have lost one or both parents to violence, disease or have been abandoned. 
On the last Wednesday of every month we meet with the eldest child in each family. We share a meal with them, provide emotional support and give them a month’s worth of non-perishable food. Go to ngangifisa.com to learn more or contact us at ngangifisa@gmail.com. Any and all donations are greatly appreciated.


Baby Club

The Baby Club supports young mums, their babies and children at a  crèche that they work with that is close to DCS. The aim is to ensure that these teenage mums stay in school and finish matric despite having the additional responsibility of having to look after a child. 

To find out more about the Baby Club and to see photos of their recent party follow this link to their
Facebook page

The Top Up Project - Mending School Uniforms

This group mend school uniforms on a weekly basis after our Tuesday Buddy Reader Programme. They also provide new school shoes when funds allow. They have recently added shoe polishing to their services which will help protect the shoes for longer and also give some of the school shoes a face lift before needing to be replaced altogether! 


To see what Veronika and Karin are up to, follow them on Facebook by clicking on this link. 


Health Project - Eyesight, Dental, Nutrition checks - continues on Tuesday 1

We provide health, eye and dental screenings to all students at the school. We meet every Tuesday at 8.00am at the Dainfern Valley Shopping Centre returning around 11.00am. It is not essential for volunteers to have medical training. During the screening, children are identified and referred to the appropriate health professional for follow-up. For more information, please contact Michaela at healthgroup@edufunsa.co.za. 

Several of the regular health group volunteers have relocated, so please consider assisting the group on Tuesdays.  All our literacy efforts have more of an impact if problems like poor eyesight, nutrition and other health issues are detected early.

Please contact Jenny on 082 322 0608 or email info@edufunsa.co.za if you have any general queries. You can also contact the relevant person mentioned above for specific projects or events.

Please see the dates to diarise at the bottom of this newsletter for the rest of this term.

Please click here and "Like" our Edu Fun Facebook page if you haven't already

You can also find us on Instagram @edufunsouthafrica  

Thank you
Jenny and The Edu Fun Team 



October 2019

  • Saturday Buddy Reader Programme - Saturday 5, 12, 19, 26 October 2019; 
  • Lessons for the 4th term will resume on Monday 7 and Tuesday 8 October 2019
  • Post programme assessments will be conducted throughout - October. 

November 2019

  • Volunteer Training in the Phono-Graphix Reading Method on Saturday 2 (Full day) and Saturday 9 November (1/2 day) 
  • Monday 11 November - Grade 2 Year-End Graduation Party
  • ​Tuesday 12 November - Grade 3 Year-End Graduation Party
  • Friday 15 November - Possible Santa Shoe Box delivery to all children
  • Saturday 16 November - AKA Sorority fundraiser WINE TASTING