Our teaching programme for 2018 starts on Monday and Tuesday this coming week and we're looking forward to seeing many of you on Monday and/or Tuesday.
This week's Newsletter is basically a repeat of last weeks as the information is still relevant, however we start with 2 additions.
1. Assessments for Monday & Tuesday
The instructions on how we conduct the assessments and a sample of how we would like the assessment sheet to be completed, is attached. We will also go over this at the briefing meetings on Monday and Tuesday.
Please consider assisting with the assessments on both Monday and Tuesday. This would just be for the first 2 weeks. I realise that this is a big ask, and that many of you have other commitments but if you are available it would be great to have as many helpers as possible on both mornings. We need to assess 360 learners in total from Grade 2 and Grade 3 during the first 2 weeks.
2. The AKA Sorority, celebrated it's 110th birthday this week.
In celebration of this, Tracy, who is the main driver of the "Spread a Little Love" programme, together with her team will be making 1908 sandwiches on Monday as AKA was founded in 1908. This means that every learner in the school will receive a sandwich.
If you are able to stay a bit longer on Monday - we invite you to be part of the presentation and celebration for a few minutes after the assessments.
Happy New Year and all the best for a wonderful 2018.
Our teaching programme will be starting up again on Monday 22 January and Tuesday 23 January at the usual times. Please see the details and the “Dates to Diarise” below.
We welcome several new volunteers who have been added to this mailing list thanks to the PR efforts of many of you. whose passion for Diepsloot spills into all areas of your lives and as a result attracts other great people to our programmes.
I’m looking forward to an exciting 2018 as the volunteers and teachers join forces again to continue to make a positive impact at Diepsloot Combined School (DCS).
I’m also extremely excited to be starting the year with a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT
.....Liza Munson is planning to return to South Africa to work with Edu Fun and Read For Africa.
Many of you know and love Liza as she played an integral role in Edu Fun over the last few years. She has continued to provide me with a lot of support and advice from afar since her farewell in July last year and she is already assisting with the co-ordination of our Partner Projects as well as the new “Sponsor a child” initiative described below.
Liza is a professional fundraising executive who has over 20 years’ experience working with Non-Profit Organisations. She is passionate about all things South African – is a creative thinker, an organiser, and shares the vision of wanting to “teach Africa to read”.
You can expect to hear from her and see or meet her in person soon!
New in 2018 Sponsor a Learner (or Multiple Learners) at DCS
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%.
New in 2018 we have a funding opportunity for volunteers and supporters who would like to sponsor one or more grade 2 or 3 learners for the 2018 school year. 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. 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.
It was great to catch up with the FEP students at the end of last year as they reflected on the challenges and successes of 2017. Jeanne, Sue and Avril have been tracking their progress and providing them with a lot of support over the last 5 years.
The students have received stipends over the years which assisted them financially. They have also received food, mentoring, laptops, other devices and clothing – thanks to many of you who have donated these items on a regular basis.
Thank you to Catarina Stewen who facilitated a donation from Konecranesfor R175 000 to the Further Education programme (FEP) at the end of last year. The timing of this donation was perfect for the start of a new academic year. This generous donation means that all the FEP studens currently enrolled at college or university will continue to receive financial support as well as a few new students who will be joining the programme this year.
Feedback - Grade 3 Reading and Spelling Assessments from 2017
Thank you to Anthea for setting up a detailed spreadsheet at the beginning of last year and for capturing all the Grade 3 learner details and pre-programme assessment results. The spreadsheet has been updated with the post assessment results in order to measure the progress over the year which has provided us with valuable data and interesting trends.
Tracy and her AKA Sorority team do an amazing job supplying peanut butter sandwiches and apples for many children at DCS every Monday. If you can add to this by either preparing sandwiches or bringing a bag of apples on Mondays when you can, it would be of great help.
The first lesson will be dedicated to conducting assessments with individual Grade 3 learners. I will send the assessment instructions with the next newsletter, but I will also explain the process at our briefing meeting at Piatto's on Monday 22 January at 9am.
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 23 January
The first lesson will be dedicated to conducting assessments with individual Grade 2 learners. I will send the assessment instructions with the next newsletter, but I will also explain the process at our briefing meeting at Piatto's on Tuesday 23 January at 8:30am.
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.
Wednesday 24 January – first Food Pantry Distribution for the year. 10am in the school hall.
Term 1 will continue until Monday 12th and Tuesday 13th March 2018
Lessons will continue until Monday 12 March and Tuesday 13 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
Please let me know if you have any queries, questions or suggestions.
I’m looking forward to seeing everyone on Monday 22 and Tuesday 23 January 2018.