The Stanford book party begins …


A first workshop in a new area is always a little tense. Will the children come? Well, at the frst CBN workshop in Stanford, twenty children turned up at very short notice – and they came dressed to party!
A small, glittering crowd approached the Butterfly Centre ten minutes before the appointed time. The girls and their two community facilitators were in party attire (the boys came as they were). They stepped through the door and straight into the spirit of reading and books.
The spontaneous workshop happened because it was definitely time to begin work in Stanford, and we had violinist Anele Mhlahlo staying in the village and Janine van Rooy (Blaq Pearl) available too, so the obvious theme was Books and Music. Our distant advisor in Cambridge sent an intriguing YouTube link to clapping and rhythm games that (somehow) led to American reel dancing and Malawian clapping games. It was an inspirational afternoon.
We began, as always, with Books and Stories, specifically a specially created story called Mimi and the Quiet, written and read by Lesley Beake with accompaniment by Anele who created the sounds in the story on his violin. Janine worked with the children to talk them through their initial shyness and the whole group worked on a song they called Stanford Weekend accompanied by rappers from the group, a drum and more clapping.. We read a story by Michael Williams called: You can dance! We listened to a story abut searching for silence. They danced, they sang, they listened, they created … we just ran out of time for the quiet reading that usually happens after an active workshop. Next time …

Our thanks to:
The Butterfly Centre for allowing us to use their charming premises.
The Chancey family for participating so enthusiastically in the dancing and clapping.
Ellen Osman and Clare Musiska for leading the clapping game
Willem Maclean of Stanford Community Policing Forum
Emily Hallinan for the clapping ideas
The endlessly supportive CBN team, including Chantel Oosthuysen in her debut performance as workshop manager.

Next workshop: End April with the theme Big Cats!

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