Where are we now with the collaboration of hearts, minds, talents, and resources intent upon children reading in South Africa? There is power in joined forces: Rotary Districts 6900 and 9400, Rotary Club of Pretoria East in South Africa, Rotary Club of Peachtree City , GA, USA., and the Peace Corps in South Africa. The Rotary Foundation funded a Global Grant which is impacting thousands of children from rural villages and urban townships across provinces in South Africa. Miracles do happen. Children will read! Thank you, Rotary! Thank you, Peace Corps!
A comment from Robin Jones, the Rotarian heading this RD9400 and RD6900 project from Rotary Club of Pretoria East, South Africa – The feed back from the existing Peace Corps volunteers (PCV’s) is slow but what I have received is amazing. You will be surprised at the numbers of kids we are reaching.
One PCV – Today is our first day back to school after winter break. The kids I worked with today were all so excited I was back to teach them! Right before break I had tested each class on which sounds they have mastered. I assumed most of the kids would forget some of the sounds over break but surprisingly that wasn’t the case. All the kids had done extremely well in both remembering the previous sounds and with the introduction of new ones today. A few weeks before break we had started on constructing words which I plan to continue next week since our knowledge is expanding.
Another PCV – I don’t know how much you have heard about the excitement level with souns and Peace Corps, but to say it is high would be an understatement. Many folks are reaching out to South Africa Rotary, Rotary back home, and planning together. It really is a great time. One of those awesome folks works with a large NGO. They are spread throughout the country and work with 56 creches. She has submitted a proposal to do trainings for each of these cretches. Pretty exciting to think about the impact this can have on early literacy.
Yet another PCV – I have been using SOUNS for about 2 months in the Creche. I spend 4 days two hours each day teaching small groups (6-8) of toddlers 3-6 years old. It is a wonderful tool for teaching phonics….And the lower case alphabet is definitely the way to go! The plastic letters are indestructible: they have been chewed, dropped, sucked, thrown, kicked, ‘crayoned’, pulled…all without the slightest damage. I really love this program. It sets a good pace for kids learning…and the kids absolutely love these letters and sounds. I am hoping to see a difference in the Grade R at the Creche who will be entering Grade 1 at the Primary School.
And yet another PCV – I was wondering, could we get other Rotary clubs to sponsor sets? For instance, my mom is in Rotary in North Carolina, does US Rotary have connections to other groups that could help us out?
“Can you help us out?” is a call from the field for assistance that is so small in terms of dollars. You can help a Peace Corps volunteer help a classroom of children in his or her village. We have some materials funded now, with additional funding requested; but the numbers of classrooms are beyond that scope. One Rotary Club supporting One Classroom will make the world shake with potential for these kids.
Peace Corps volunteers are passionate, committed resources for their villages. They are teaching the children and the teachers so this work is sustainable. Rotary Districts, Rotary clubs, Rotarians or benevolent minded readers, consider what $200 will do, as that is all it takes for a classroom (no expendables, so imagine the impact over years). Souns is a global Rotary literacy option (see Rotarian, August 2011) from Counterpane, a 501-(c)- 3 non-profit educational organization. Your gift supports classroom materials only. All Souns training for Rotary projects is in-kind giving by Rotarians. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or click below and support a classroom. Thanking you forward! Every child wants to read! Please Donate!