During 2018, our colleague, Janine van Rooy-Overmeyer (Blaq Pearl) held two extremely successful workshops in Tafelsig (Mitchell’s Plain). We hope Janine will be able to take this further next year if her other heavy commitments permit.
Janine has worked with CBN for five years now and is one of the children’s favourites. She brings her music with her, her poetry, her compassion – and her bravery. Truly a role-model for our young people. Sometimes she brings her husband too – eight times SA National Table tennis champion – and he inspired the children as well! We held an amazing workshop in Stanford with both of them entitled ‘Local Heroes’ and they sure lived up to the name.
Here are Janine’s reports of the workshops. We want to do more. The community in Tafelsig wants her to do more. In 2019 we will try to make this happen.
Children’s Book Network Workshop
Date: 26 May 2018
Venue: Freedom Park Community Hall, Tafelsig, Mitchell’s Plain
Children’s Book Network workshop themed – Animals.
– Welcome and introduction
– Checking of permission forms & complete register
– Reading to the group
– Reading games (we rotated the groups, enabling all the children to experience all the games)
– Quiet reading in between
Number of children: 23
Age group: 8 – 14
I asked three young women from the Sisters with Attitude Project to assist. As well as implementing the reading games and activities regarding the Reading Toolbox, we focused on the workshop theme of animals.
The content, theme and activities were well received. We had children attending who did not bring their permission forms, as well as some who did. We opened an attendance register to capture their details. We also found that some parents attended before contacting us to find out about the next workshop and to ask if their child could participate again.
Word is also going out into the community and via NEAD organization people are contacting me ahead of time to request for their child to participate. I’m kinda busy compiling a “waiting list” now.
Children really enjoy the story reading time which I did. I read the book “Our Story Magic by Gcina Mhlophe”.
They asked for help when necessary during activities. We had three groups of 7 and 8 children per group. Every child got an opportunity to experience every activity. The children are learning to appreciate reading and stories. One of the parents shared with me that her two sons that’s been to the reading workshop before is showing great change in their attitude towards reading. She says everywhere they go, even walking along the road towards the town centre etc, they read everything they see. She is very grateful to us.
The children appreciated being able to relate to the stories in the books.
Although I got a donation of books elsewhere and would like to give to the children as a gift, to encourage them to keep reading. I still think we need more books in Afrikaans.
The freedom to express themselves in creative ways through art, pictures and words as a tool to get closer to reading is very effective. We are definitely making reading fun!
Statements/ Feedback from the local helpers:
The reading workshop with the children went well. The hunger for knowledge and nurturing is very apparent. There’s so much energy and potential within the children to become the best they can be, creatively and intellectually. There are bad behaviour habits within the group, nothing positive attention and input can’t assist with. The more on guard the child, the more positive focus they require. More classes would help build a stronger relationship of trust and respect with them and us. By Frankie Herwels
I think the workshop really helps them a lot. Our guidance towards them and their attitude towards us becomes much better. Some of the children experience a lot in the sessions and I’m glad for those who cannot read and ask for help from us. I like their dedicationand I’m very glad for those who want to become better in reading, so I hope we can help them even more. This can help them in very different ways, like in exams and homework. It will also make the a better person some day. I am proud of them for offering their time to learn to read and want to become a better person for a better future. By Nashley Joubert
The workshop was very eye opening. I get to work with children that are in desperate need for this workshop. The children come from various backgrounds and upbringing and despite all of their differences, their imagination is pure and interesting to work with. All of them are hungry for knowledge and help. Every Saturday once a month, it is truly an honour to teach them and help them grow, not only in literature but also to help them discover and realize the potential they have in life. In order for them to move forward and out of difficult circumstances.
By Luzaan Hansen