SACS is involved in two major out reach Projects
After SACS initiated contact with Zanewonga four years ago, we have established a relationship that allows both school immense opportunity for growth. Since our first few years, the project has grown and we now have a combined team of students from SACS and Springfield that set off to the rural Eastern Cape in order to teach Math and Science at Zanewonga Senior Secondary School.
The journey to Zanewonga secondary school is one of over 1000km. However, it is always refreshing to be welcomed by exstatic learners and, these days, a number of familiar faces. One of the most rewarding aspects of this trip is to see past students return, having progressed through to the following grade. A special effort was made this year to address the Zanewonga students and teachers in Xhosa during the welcome.
The SACS and Springfield learners disperse into their respective classes. We have learned to start lessons with ice-breakers and to ease into the teaching. This emphasis creates a shift in class dynamics for the better. A far more sincere and respectful approach is taken than assuming one is there merely to educate. The bona fide attempts to establish lasting relationships go beyond the classroom and what Math and Science can teach. Without trying to foster a positive relationship to begin with, the teaching can very quickly turn into the ‘we know better’ approach. This shows how important meetings are before the tour to decide on how to take a unified approach.
Educational focus is on grade 10-12 Math, Math Lit and Physics. Each morning Maths is taught, followed by Science. In the afternoons various classes are established on the first day which continues throughout the week. These classes are chosen after asking Zanewonga students what they most needed help with.
SACS and Springfield learners manage to have more than 8 classes being taught at a time. It is remarkable to think that more than 100 young learners are combining forces from completely different backgrounds to achieve a common goal. For some it centers around personal growth, perhaps growing the community or even with consideration to grow our beloved nation.
Each year we hand out a number of gift packages which contain a number of hygiene items; sanitary pads, soap and toothpaste which would help keep students at school during term. There are many factors that do not allow these students to attend school regularly. Each year we will try and look at ways in which we can encourage attendance and reduce absenteeism.
The teachers attending the trip usually busy themselves with DIY, or conversations with the Zanewonga teachers to better comprehend the difficulties they face. There has been plenty of DIY at the school and windows, doors, desks, roofs, walls and offices have all been renovated. The Schuurman family must be thanked for their continued contributions to our restoration efforts at the school.
The final few days always include netball and soccer matches to help reaffirm the friendships made in the classroom. Perhaps one of the most important things to happen during these games are the conversations, jokes and jeers shared on the sidelines. Another way to develop the respect between all the schools.
Each year as teachers we are impressed by the maturity of our learners. It is so important to provide the framework for personal growth and to trust that the morals and values instilled by our schools are used. Year after year the trip is justified by the stark changes we see in the learners at the end of the week, as well as the never-quenched thirst for knowledge by the students of Zanwonga.
Many thanks must go to:
Mr Barnard, Mr Wepener and Ms. Brock for heading the project. Ms. B. Smit from Springfield. The Wepener family for helping the project run smoothly whilst on the tour. Many other families must be thanked too for their continued involvement, such as the Peters, Bacon and Schuurmans. Without the support from the greater SACS and Springfield community projects like this would not start and be sustainable. We hope to see this outreach project inspire others to do likewise. If you would like to help either through direct involvement or financially please contact either Mr. Barnard or Mr. Wepener.
Happy Hearts Academy
SACS has partnered with the Happy Hearts Academy, who are a registered NPO. We have meaningful tutor sessions, which included academic support in Maths and English. Happy Hearts is an organization that focuses on enhancing the youth of our community. They are a fairly newly-established club/organization and are enthusiastic about changing the lives of the youth that they work with on a daily basis. While their focus is on sport in our communities, they also value the importance of educating their children about life skills in order for them to be the agents of change in the near future.