Early Childhood Development Programs! | Hope Through Action
EDUpacks, Story Time, and Movement Sessions!
These are 3 of Franschhoek Valley Community Sport Centre’s exciting early childhood development programs that run out of its Learning Centre. Visiting 19 different development centres at least once every two weeks, these programs are designed to inspire and support the preschools that nurture our youngest members of society – it is such a vital impact point and we love that we can connect with so many centres in our valley to bring a little something extra to the work they are doing. It really is an exciting outreach!
There are 26 Early Childhood Development Centres in and around the Franschhoek Valley. Each of them makes do with very little and caters for at least 20 children from a few months to 6 years old.
In lockdown last year we couldn’t bear that we were no longer interacting with these precious little people who used to come to our Centre for computer lessons and play sessions. Not only were we no longer seeing them, but their teachers couldn’t get them any kind of work either. We had to do something. So, we developed our EDUpacks and hand-delivered them to more than 300 children!
Our EDUpacks are fun and colorful activities aimed at 3-5-year-olds and we put the packs together with a resource (like crayons, playdough, and puzzles) to ensure that learning is effective and as fun as possible.
We witnessed the most beautiful development as we met many parents and saw how the packs provided an amazing platform for them to bond and connect with their children. We saw children get better and better as they kept learning, even at home.
When schools opened up again, the teachers loved our packs so much that they wanted us to continue! We worked hard to align the EDUpacks to the general themes that the creches covered and we put together a whole years’ worth of activities. We’re going full steam ahead now and at only R400 per child for a whole year of fun activities and amazing resources, it’s a super impactful initiative to support, too!
Story Time developed from a special partnership with Claudia Rudolf from Karoofelt. She has written wonderful children’s books and we had the privilege of taking them to creches as regulations eased, to inspire them and share the magic of storytelling. At the end of 2020, Claudia organized a donation drive to help us get one of her books to each of the children in the program. It was spectacular! We had so much fun reading at all the different creches in 2020 that we have incorporated story time into our programs, and we are finding books that link with the themes in the EDUpacks, too. These are magical sessions, every two weeks, where imaginations are set free and beautiful connections are grown between children and facilitators and teachers.
Movement sessions also developed out of COVID-19, since the children no longer come to the Centre so much because we can’t transport the children to come here. So…now we go to them! Every day our facilitators visit a handful of ECD centres with exciting movement sessions specifically crafted for our little ones – loads of games and fun! Lots of moving and gross motor skill development. Lots of beautiful relationships being formed one session at a time. There have been some lovely interaction from teachers as they help the facilitators manage the classes. We are sure that they are learning things too. And the more the teachers learn and take on board the more successful this project really is, because they’ll be able to keep it going even on the days when we can’t make it there.
This project brings special support to the very beginning of the education journey for over 200 children in our Valley. We would love to be reaching more, but can’t this year due to funding. If you would like to be involved in this initiative in any way, please feel free to get in touch with Lauren on 021 876 2569. We would love to hear from you!
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