Primary School Project
At the Primary School a tutor reading project for the English language has been set up by volunteers. In this project strong readers are linked to weak readers in order to improve in this way the quality of reading for as many children as possible at the same time. All the children in Grade 4 and 5 are being tested with regard to their reading skills in English. The result is that almost two-thirds belong to the weak readers. Numerically a tall order, for which purpose a covered outdoor area has been created by Teachers for Africa where reading trios can sit separately. An enormous relief for children and the teacher, who stay behind during tutor reading with a more homogenous and smaller group of readers and have more space in the classroom. The first results are already visible too. How we accomplished this all?
Our local coordinator launched a nature education programme in 2015 in association with Refentse Primary staff. It is extremely important for youngsters who live near Kruger Park to have knowledge of the nature surrounding them. They benefit from this knowledge because the surrounding generates a lot of employment as a result of nature preservation and tourism, but also because they can use this knowledge to appreciate and respect nature. Nature at Kruger Park is vulnerable and it is important for young people to realize that, even if they do not want a career as a ranger or an observer. As for these primary school children: as the twig is bent the tree is inclined.
With regard to school materials we do not only focus on study books, pencils and notebooks, but also, for example, on a shelter against the sun at the library where young children can read and learn when it is more than 40 degrees Centigrade in the library itself. Picnic tables they can sit at while doing their homework when they are not in the classroom. A solar cloth for some extra shade in the hot South African summers. With the school materials we focus on the whole range of improvements that make it possible for youngsters to get a better place to study. We create an as safe and comfortable place as possible, so that they can concentrate on their school achievements.