THROUGH THELOOKING GLASSJUNE - AUG2022
We believe that community-led change can happen throughcreating interdependent, contributing, responsible adults byconnecting every child to a Montessori empowered humanW H Y S T A T E M E N TA South Africa where our children have equal opportunities toquality foundation education. We are excited to open up a trueenjoyment and enthusiasm for learning, generating hope andcreating possibilities and opportunities for their futures.V I S I O NTo empower an ecosystem of quality education for the holisticdevelopment of the child, bridging the gap betweenmarginalised and privileged communities.M I S S I O NSchoolinfrastructure& resourcesECD Teachertraining andsupportParent training andcommunitydevelopmentP R O G R A M M E SScholarships forchildren in LiR-supported ECDCs
TODAY A READER, TOMORROW A LEADERDear Friends,The past quarter has had a strong emphasis on personal growthand development, not just in the children but in families,teachers and our own LiR team. Learning in Reach cultivates aculture of continuous learning. We can be confident that in themidst of all calamities and unforeseen circumstances, seeds aresprouting within each individual whom we reach, adding valueand impact to their lives. This quarter's newsletter comes from a place of commitment tobridging the gap in quality ECD. We are fueled by our passion tooffer children tools to cultivate confidence, master skills andgain independence; with the hopes that someday they willchange the world.The team at Learning in Reach is evolutionary, graduallydeveloping into the best versions of themselves. From attendingworkshops and training to being brave speakers at events suchas the SAMA conference. We do all this because of our deepdesire to see change and impact being made in ourcommunity. However, our success is not measured by our actions orpersonal achievements, but by the impact we make inchildren's lives. We are chipping away at our massive goal ofensuring that every child has access to quality ECD. This term, your funding and donations have helped us educate,empower, feed and clothe dozens of vulnerable children. Forthat we thank you. Please share the good news in this newsletterso that we can keep growing, putting 'Learning in Reach' forhundreds more. With gratitudeOwen & the LiR teamTWINKLEBUGGZZZTWINKLE STARCHILDREN'S HOUSEOF LAVENDER HILLJAMIELAH'SOUTREACHSAMA CONFERENCEMANDELA DAY2022SAFE CIRCLES &ECD OUTREACHW H A T ' S I N S I D E ?WINTER WARMERSSCHOOLAMBASSADORS
LEARNING BY OBSERVINGWritten by Mikayle Booysen & Roberta MurphyThis term, we focused on different plants in theclassroom and how we treat inside plants differentlyfrom outside plants. We have discovered that children don’t treat plants asthey should. Many of them don’t see the value oftreating plants with love and care, so a lot of guidanceis given in the classroom where we teach children howto work with them and to care for them with gentlehands.Classroom NewsWe had a lovely market day. Parents and childrencame to support the school. The children had so muchfun. We had games, including some of the childrenshowing some interesting tricks on the trampoline. Wesold clothing, toys, and boerewors. We want to extendour gratitude and thanks to our parents for their support. We attended the "There's a Lion in my Tummy" play where the children had so much funlearning new songs, having creative playtime and just enjoying learning how to express theirfeelings.
75%We have had a quiet Term 3 at school withfewer funerals, although we did have severalmemorial services. On these occasions we packup our classroom so that the community canuse the space, and we take the children on anouting. On one such occasion we took the children toZandvlei park, where they explored and playedoutdoors. Some collected sticks, and some justhad a ball playing in the wide open space andclimbing the playground equipment. We wereespecially lucky with the beautiful weather.AttendanceDaily participation inprogram over 4 months33children>3250meals499hours of learning& careNutritious ingredients25%Montessori-trainedcommunity sourcedteacher salaries 69%Stationery &Supplies 5%Admin costs 1%Where your MONEY goes Here's what funding a child enablesWe had a few birthday circle celebrations.Parents attending were very impressed with howspecial we made their children feel. Someparents brought in lovely treats, which thechildren always love. On Fridays, parents are invited to come in for anhour or two to clean up the garden area. It'sbeen lovely to have the parents help us. Whenthe children see that their parents are helping tokeep their space clean, it also teaches thechildren to keep their area clean. On 16 June, we had a fun Youth day celebrationspearheaded by a group of parents. Childrengathered and had tournaments, there was musicand dancing, games for the little ones andsomething to eat. Our sincere appreciation for everyone whocontributed and participated in marking thisday. Building our community together isimportant to us and we know the childrenbenefit from these moments of social cohesion.*A lower attendance through winter months is expected
87%LITTLE MINDS WITH BIGEXPECTATIONSWritten by Tanya MartinOnce again, Twinklestar educare had achance to return to their classroom withmuch enthusiasm - little minds with bigexpectations. Returning for our second term, wewelcomed a new volunteer teacher onboard who is eager to be a part of ourLearning Circles and gain experience inECD.The children have grown in confidencesince the start of the year. They are morehands-on with the materials and areassured of their achievements. Theclassroom space is theirs to explore. Thank you to our parents who involvethemselves in the centre and in theirchildren's learning journey.Twinkle StarClassroom NewsAttendanceDaily participation inprogram over 4 months11children>880meals240hours of learning& careNutritious ingredients30%Montessori-trainedcommunity sourcedteacher salaries 46%Stationery & Supplies 4%Admin costs 3%Where your MONEY goes Here's what funding a child enablesThe greatest sign of success for ateacher... is to be able to say, 'The childrenare now working as if I did not exist'. Maria MontessoriRent 15%Maintenance 1%Municipal services 1%*A lower attendance through winter months is expected
77%LEARNING IS FUNWritten by Theresa KokThe focus for last term was insects, we exploredwhy we have insects gaining a basic understandingthat all our creepy crawlers have a job and apurpose. We had a pyjama party this term. The childrenenjoyed having their faces painted and loved thedelicious snacks. While we were having fun, we were also learning.During a “Make and Bake” activity, we made ringdoughnuts with apples, icing sugar and cakedecorations. The children really enjoyedthemselves.We made some musical instruments - the shaker.We used PVC pipes and wrapped them with brightlycoloured paper and electrical tape to seal theends. The shakers had sand, beans, lentils, rice ormacaroni inside them making different sounds.Classroom NewsAttendanceDaily participation inprogram over 4 months10children>810meals243hours of learning& careNutritious ingredients30%Montessori-trainedcommunity sourcedteacher salaries 46%Stationery & Supplies 4%Admin costs 3%Where your MONEY goes Here's what funding a child enablesRent 15%Maintenance 1%Municipal services 1%*A lower attendance through winter months is expected"Do not tell them how to do it. Show them how to doit and do not say a word. If you tell them, they willwatch your lips move. If you show them, they willwant to do it themselves." Maria Montessori
75%CONNECTING TO THE SPIRITUAL BEINGWritten by Jamielah LouwLast term was challenging yet very impactful.One of my highlights was a 3 year oldlearning the first 5 letters of the alphabet. Theindependence of each individual child grewtremendously. Our focus for the term was to connect to thespiritual being of the child. We partnered withSt Mark’s Anglican Church to have thechildren attend mass on Wednesdaymornings. It quickly became a classroomfavourite.We started planting a new veggie garden andenjoyed some celebratory meals on Fridays,just because, life is precious. Jamielah'sClassroom NewsAttendanceDaily participation inprogram over 4 months9children>378meals126hours of learning& careNutritious ingredients30%Montessori-trainedcommunity sourcedteacher salaries 46%Stationery & Supplies 4%Admin costs 3%Where your MONEY goes Here's what funding a child enablesRent 15%Maintenance 1%Municipal services 1%*A lower attendance through winter months is expectedThe land is where our roots are. The children must be taughtto feel and live in harmony with the EarthMaria Montessori
A few months ago, I started getting more involved and building stronger relationships with thefamilies of our children in the ECD centres. They all come from different backgrounds, all veryunique and also very vulnerable. I started with the greenlight baseline questionnaire,interviewing parents in their homes. Then we formulated action plans together, to shift familiesfrom their status quo. This process made them reflect on their lives - where they are at, whatthey would like to work on, where they should start, what is needed, and the big question ofwhat they can do right now to make positive changes. Then they started to put their plans intoaction. To keep connected, I run a monthly safe circle with the parents. On occasion I amasked to do one-on-one sessions with parents who want and need more time to offload whatthey are feeling.The last few months have been really amazing! I never knew the impact it would have on meand the parents I work with. They finally have a space where they feel safe and can be opento share their feelings. There is so much hurt and pain in our community. There is definitely acritical need for Safe Circles/Safe Spaces in Lavender Hill. I have to prepare myselfemotionally before going into a Safe Circle. I never know how it will go. There are some dayswhere we can share and express and still be emotionally ok and even feel uplifted andstrong. Then there are times when things get really emotional and tense. You can literally feelthe energy dropping in the room. They became so aware of the trauma in their lives and howit affects them on a daily basis. The Safe Circles made them realise all the baggage they carrywith them everyday . There are so many traumas they have never dealt with and kept in for somany years. Now they are able to share. Safe CirclesWritten by Carla Martin I also had the privilege to hold a Safe Circle with seniors in our community. They are the sameage as my parents and even my grandparents. This gave me so much more courage to dowhat I am doing for more people. I learned that even a pastor needs a safe space. My agedoes not matter, but my presence in their spaces plays a critical role. They felt valued.There are so many valuable lessons I have learned overthe last few months while working with the parents. Ilearned to work with different personalities. Everyone has astory. So many are longing to be heard and would like torelease what they are feeling. There should be nojudgment or any negativity. I have to be very sensitiveand always show compassion. I need to value everyone'sstory and understand that we all deal with thingsdifferently. It's their journey to walk, I am just a witness andcaring presence.
Potted plantsPicture frames (jumbo print size)Children's tables, chairs or other child-sizedfurniture (wooden preferable)Objects of cultural interestCutlery, crockery (ceramic side plates & bowls)Baskets, small & shallow or large & deepPlastic storage boxesArt easel, paints, paint brushesCoat hooksMicrowave, gas stove, gas tankLarge mat for circle time ECD OutreachWritten by Leanne Reid and Carla Martin Small Beginners' new containerAfter many years cramped in a small wooden bungalow,not fit for purpose, Small Beginners has been blessed witha new container classroom thanks to Breadline. Our teamhave been able to assist in planning the new classroomspace. It’s so exciting to see the materials in their newhome and the learning environment taking shape towelcome little ones to their home from home. The following items will help to make this classroom feelhomely. If you have any of these lying around at homeand won't miss them, your donation would be welcome. NPO registration & subsidy applicationsAfter two to three failed attempts online, we accompanied principals to the Dept. of SocialDevelopment NPO helpdesk in town. After a bit of back and forth and a couple of months'wait, we are pleased to congratulate 10 ECD centres that gained their NPO registrationnumbers. The ECD centres face an ongoing battle trying to reapply for their DSD subsidy, which wasgranted upon provisional registration last year. This fell away in April, which has hurt the centreswhich had come to depend on the subsidy after having hired additional staff and madeoperational changes based on this support. We thank Centre for Early Childhood Developmentfor their assistance advocating for the reinstatement of the subsidy.
Hello, I'm Janet, the cook for the Learning Circles.Cooking is my hobby, and I like to explore new things inthe kitchen. I change the menu every week as much aspossible, so that the children don't get bored by eating thesame thing every day. Every child needs a balancednutritious meal which includes lots of veggies.I want to thank everyone who's sponsored us withgroceries. We couldn't have done it so far without yoursupport. Thank you so much, we really appreciate it.Our partnership with FirstRand saw Charlene’s Angelsfitted with two aluminium doors with emergency exitbars to replace their weather-worn wooden doorsand meet safety standards. A huge thank you toPearl from FNB, who assisted Charlene with sourcingand funding the doors. This need was identifiedthrough an ongoing mentorship program we arerunning with FirstRand, pairing FirstRand Volunteerswith ECD Principals to drive ECD registration progressand financial sustainability.Cooking is my hobbyWritten by Janet BennAll of the children have different likes and dislikes. Here are a few of the meals which are alwaysa hit. The ultimate favourite is the fish cakes! Others include the breyani, lentil curry and all theveggies in the tuna quiches and chickpea burgers.It's a pleasure to cook for them, I'll try by all means to give them my best because "your child is my child".After a long wait, we also saw the installation of3 new aluminium doors at St Mark AnglicanChurch, with thanks to Direct Axis' matchedfunding program for employee volunteers. This big community hall space is now moreusable, with the doors improving the acoustics,making the spaces more functional for trainingand other community projects. This is a greatasset to the greater community of Lavender Hill.Opening new doors
The best part of sharing the joy of books is when Ienter the classroom and feel the considerableanticipation and expectation of the children. They sitdown with such attentiveness as they wait for me tostart reading and engage with them throughstorytelling.The most popular book last term was “There is a Lionin my Tummy.” This is because the play based onthe book includes songs. When reading the book, Ising these to the children. They really love this book. It’s always a challenge to get to all the centres inone term as, at the present moment, it’s just merunning the project. If you want to join us as areading ambassador, please sign up as a volunteer:http//tinyurl.com/LiRVolunteer.Reading is the cornerstone of learning, and providing appropriate resources to schools is apassion and privilege for our team. Through our ongoing relationship with Kidz2Kidz andsponsorship from Vintage with Love, another ten reading corners were delivered in July tofoundation phase classrooms around Cape Town, from Tygerhof to Zonnebloem and on our owndoorstep at Thomas Wilschutt Primary School in Retreat. 440 books wrapped in contact willgrace the bookshelves for many years to come, providing learning to thousands of younglearners. We are in the process of designing some exciting new bookshelves for ECD classrooms.Proceeds from this income generation project not only benefit local carpenters andseamstresses but also contribute towards ECD scholarships for children in Lavender Hill. It's a win-win-win.Written by Owen DysonToday a Reader, Tomorrow a LeaderMakerspaceWritten by Leanne Reid
We had the privilege of being among the guest speakers at the South African MontessoriAssociation (SAMA) conference in June 2022. The theme of the conference was "Evolve or Expire". The focus point in our 45 minpresentation was around evolving Montessori in Lavender Hill. We had the privilege ofsharing this platform with our friend, mentor and inspiration, Ally Connelly, who played avital role in preparing us for the conference.The conference was well attended, and the speakers were phenomenal. One of the mostinteresting talks that we sat in on was "The Mathematical Mind" By Lynn Lawrence. Shebrought a new perspective to our approach to math. Rather than seeing it as“complicated”, we need to embrace that we all have a mathematical mind.When we put our minds to it, we can see math as fun, and that's initially the message wewant to carry over to the children in the classroom when we present them with the mathactivity.The thing that stood out for us at the conference was the positive response we got frompeople who sat in on our presentation. “Your talk was very inspirational” was among the comments we received. Overall we weregrateful for the opportunity. This is definitely one of the highlights of our journey. SAMA Conference 2022: Evolve or ExpireWritten by Owen Dyson and Carla Martin"Carla and Owen's approach to theirtalk was passionate and from the heart.They shared their personal growth anddevelopment of skills in a way that drewthe audience in. Their love and dedicationto Lavender Hill was palpable. Theworkshop attendees were completelyengaged in the information they bothshared, with much clapping andenthusiasm. This supported the deliveryof a lovely talk." Ally (mentor)
Mandela Day 2022For the past two years, face-to-face events have been put on hold. However, this year, with therestrictions lifted, we had the privilege to celebrate Mandela Day free from masks and socialdistancing with employees of the Flash Group. To honour this day, we had the Flash staff complement of around 300 energetic peopleundertaking various activities including dough making, sanding of knitting forks, mural paintings,knitting, language material making and our famous book wrap. Since there were so manyparticipants, we had to spread these activities over three days to accommodate everyone andallow them to fulfil their 67 minutes. Flash contributed R3000 towards the set up of the MakerSpace, and the staff donated R5000towards our projects.Written by Owen Dyson and Carla Martin100 books wrapped 59 dough kits195 knitting forks 59 unique and creative literacy sets 2 murals painted for an ECDplayground20 knitted beaniesA box of 2nd hand books for ourlibraryThe outcome:
Mandela Day - continuedWritten by Leanne ReidOur first ever Mandela Day Charity Comedy Show was a full house. It was so great to connectwith our supporters, friends and partners again. We raised more than R10 000 from the auctiontowards ECD scholarships for vulnerable children. Thank you to everyone who joined us. Thankyou to the comedians Arlene Petersen, Keenan Cerff, Mario Campbell and Thato Mabelane forsharing their humour and stories.We love using Mandela Day as a way of connecting beneficiaries and supporters to gain abetter understanding across the board and bridge divides. Our goal for this event was to create a social platform for this purpose and yet did even more.The comedy acts educated ignorance, triggered emotions and opened up the opportunity fordeep reflection, open conversations and new lessons for our team and others who attended.A reminder that we have a lot of work to do! 6 ECD centres and 2 Primary schoolfoundation phase received learningresources, including playdough,literacy materials and books,benefitting 387 children in their dailylearning experiences. 2 ECD centres received the 20 knittedbeanies to keep them warm throughwinter. 23 ECD centres will receive knittingresources, benefiting more than 500children.2 Veggie gardens stocked for summer4 Learning Circle child scholarshipswere fully fundedOverall Mandela Day impact:What counts in lifeis not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead. Nelson Mandela
Mandela Day - continuedOur faithful supporters at Lexis Nexis hosted another book wrap, wrapping 200 books with their67 minutes on Mandela Day. Lexis Nexis has supported us consistently for the last five years through their annual Lexis NexisCares Day and Mandela Day. We have also benefited from their global Rexl grant.With this incredibly caring organisation’s support, Children’s House of Lavender Hill came toexist, survived Covid-19 and will be celebrating its 5th birthday next year! Partners like this are invaluable to sustainable growth and consistent development. We can’tthank Lexis Nexis enough for their commitment to long term impact.WITH A MONTHLYDONATIONS P O N S O R A C H I L DWritten by Leanne ReidEnsure that a child receives 2nutritious meals & snacks dailyGive a marginalised child access tohigh quality early learningSecure a living wage for a trained ECDteacherProvide a safe, nurturing environmentin which to grow and develop thepotential of tomorrow's leadersIt costs R500pm to give a child accessto a basic, quality ECD program. Your monthly donation of an amountaffordable to you will help: Learning In Reach NPCFirst National Bank (FNB)SWIFT/BIC Code: FIRNZAJJXXXBranch: 250655 | Account: 62614116904Ref: LC + cell numberKindly email proof of payment email@example.comSection 18A tax deductiblecertificate available on request.
Follow up - Winter WarmersRemember the #Top2Toe #WinterWarmers appeal in our last newsletter? On a cold & rainy day in Cape Town, we collected 42 custom-made fleece hoodies printedwith the words “someday I will change the world”. We shopped for slippers and deliveredthem to Children’s House of Lavender Hill. Written by Leanne ReidThe children were very happy withtheir cosy hoodies, and theteachers even happier that theyhave "inside" shoes so they canleave the mud at the door!
We are excited to resume our drama production,“There’s a Lion in my Tummy”, at the beginning ofSeptember after Naledi took two months maternityleave. To make a booking for your school, pleaseclick on the link: https://tinyurl.com/LionShow orcontact Gill at firstname.lastname@example.org more information. School Ambassadors The Grade R’s at Sweet Valley Primary Schoolmanaged to collect 164 cans of food which weredonated to our kitchen. Janet was very happy toreceive these as they will provide an addition ofmuch-needed protein to the delicious meals thatshe prepares for the children that we feed daily.Generation Schools Blue Moon held a market for Mandela Day where learners brought in theirgently worn clothing which was then sold. The money they donated from the market will gotowards replanting our kitchen garden with summer crops in spring. Our food garden feedsmore than 60 children from Children's House of Lavender Hill and the Montessori LearningCircles with nutritious meals daily. They also donated the leftover clothing that will be sold atour monthly market, giving families access to low cost clothing without handing out. Proceedsfrom the market go towards school outings.We have started taking bookings for our Christmas/Term Four gift-giving pop-up shop to make sureevery child shares in joyful celebrations. If you’dlike more information on this event or would beinterested in hosting it at your school, pleasecontact Gill at email@example.com.SCHOOL UPDATESWritten by Gill du ToitSunnyside Montessori School hosted us for ourdrama production and, as part of this, also did acollection of books, clothing, food, toys and otheritems. Food will be used in our kitchen, books andother educational items will be used in ourclassrooms, and the rest will be sold at ourmonthly market. dayCongratulations!! to Naledi Tlailane and Siviwe Fumanekileon the Birth of baby Naviwe
Frame Thank you to all contributors
"Thanks to you and me, we’ve been able to add colour, change lives and make an impact for 25 years. Watch our short film about how we’ve added colour, changed lives and made an impact for the past 25 years, with thanks to the help of our wonderful partners and amazing supporters – all 1,2 million of you. So sit back, relax and enjoy this labour of love. It encompasses everything that we stand for, and everything we aim to do at MySchool: make a difference. We hope it brightens your day, and inspires you to change lives, one swipe at a time.Here's to another 25 years of changing lives together." WOOLWORTHS Loot.co.za Engen SA https://youtu.be/LBCZZLrE8McMY Schoolis celebrating 25 years of impactDon’t forget to swipe your MySchool card at any of their retail partners like Woolworths, Loot and Engen QuickShop, who give a percentage of your spend back to the cause of your choice. We of course hope you add Learning in Reach to your list of beneficiaries. It’s that easy and won’t cost you a cent! One swipe at a time resulting in one smile at a time. #MakeADifference #EverySwipeCounts
NPC 2016/190316/08 | NPO 178-856 | PBO 930054765www.learninginreach.org.zaLearning In Reach NPCFirst National Bank (FNB)SWIFT/BIC Code: FIRNZAJJXXXBranch: 250655Account: 62614116904Ref: Cell numberKindly email proof of payment firstname.lastname@example.org whatsapp 0764018503Section 18A tax deductiblecertificate available on request.DONATE