During 2017 Starting Chance is collaborating with all of the participating educares to reach out to parents.
Workshops are being offered on Saturday mornings for parents to come and experience a school day. The pilot workshop was a great success.
Starting Chance partnered with HomeChoice Development Trust on Mandela Day this year. HomeChoice employees sponsored 950 HomePacks for 67minutes, taking time out to pack their HomePack and add a personal message to each child to who they donated a selection of educational games, toys and creative art materials.
Parents will receive the HomePacks for their children when they attend a workshop. Some 400 HomePacks have already found their way into the homes of delighted learners!
Training and Development
The baseline assessments of the next 5 educares to join the full programme showed a dramatic improvement over the initial intake – the reason? Attendance of Training Teachers in Township Workshops in the last 5 years. This insight led us to reflect on how we can accelerate the improvement of the learning environment as we reach deeper in to the community.
Attendance of the monthly Training Teachers in Townships workshops is increasing rapidly in response to the decision to offer a monthly fieldworker site visit to educares who attend regularly.
We now offer and introductory level (pre-Grade R) and advanced level (Grade R) open workshop once a month. Classroom activity packs are provided to participating teachers to aid implementation of the monthly learning. These have proved to be extremely popular as implementation is immediately possible on Monday morning.
Shack to Chic
We are currently progressing a number of building projects:
Sakhuluntu Educare: Grade R Upgrade: Plans are being submitted and we expect this project to be completed in 4Q 2017.
A Grade R classroom for 35 children is being added and the educare facility is being revamped and upgraded, including the outdoor play area.
Lonwabo Special Needs Day Centre:
Imagine listening to a radio interview and responding to a call to action to start a Special Needs Centre. That is just one small part of the remarkable story of Principal Thandeka Mafila, who will celebrate 10 years of running the Lonwabo Special Needs Centre in 2018.
Starting Chance has been working with Swiss architect Marc Bölsterli interning at Gapp to design a state-of-the-art facility that will replace the existing centre and enable Thandeka to reach more children and parents who need her help.
The centre, which has children ranging in age from 0 to 18 years, makes extensive use of Starting Chance training to bring much-needed stimulation into the lives of the children.
A preliminary design concept has been developed, but we are now aiming to increase the size of the facility from 35 to 60 children. The need is great, and many children are transported to the centre from surrounding townships where there is no support for working parents.
Starting Chance is aiming to commence building during 1Q 2018 giving Thandeka an opportunity to celebrate making a difference for 10 years in her new facility.