Early Childhood Development: A Status Update
September 9, 2015|
We are so excited about the progress being made to launch 4 Early Childhood Development Schools in South Africa. We have identified the prime location for the first school, which will be in the township of Philippi, less than a mile from our current center. It is currently unused government-owned land — which means it is quite a process to try to acquire it. We have several government councillors and departments that are acting as our advocates in this and are helping us push through the necessary channels to gain this land.
Once the purchase is complete, we will have enough land to start a school for 35 children, with enough space and capacity for us to scale it up to 70 children in the future. The school will have classrooms, a kitchen, bathrooms, a playground, and most importantly, all built with the safety and security of the children as the highest priority.
As we forge ahead in acquiring the land, we have identified the builders for our first school and determined the curriculum we will use with the children. It is an excellent program called the Shapes Curriculum which has been accredited by the Department of Education in South Africa and is currently used by many high-quality schools throughout the Western Cape. Students will learn how to be curious, creative, and confident. They will learn how to be resilient and healthy in mind, body, and spirit.
The teachers and assistants for each school will be selected from the local community and will undergo 3 weeks of intensive training as well as ongoing, in-service training. All teachers will have the minimum standard of a Cert 5 in ECD and will be taught how to intentionally create nurturing learning environments for the children to thrive in. (If you’re interested in learning more about the curriculum we’ll be using, we put together a PDF that outlines the details for you. >)
With your support, we are getting so much closer to launching our first school here in Philippi! We are hoping to break ground by the end of this year, so that children can start school there at the beginning of next year.
We still need $40,000 to make this a reality. This first school is scalable, so it will cost more than future ones — but once we have it built, it will serve as a model and springboard for the additional schools we plan to develop.
Thank you so much for your continued support of this project! Together, we can make a difference.