During the first week of the school holidays, a team of 21 volunteers ran Winter School for 47 Grade 6 and 7 learners at Litha Primary School in Gugulethu. The volunteers helped teach maths and English, facilitate groups, prepare snacks and lunches, build team spirit – and had a lot of fun in the process! Here’s what one of the volunteers, Jacqui Mackenzie, had to say:
On the morning we arrived at Litha, the designated classroom was transformed by the volunteers from a dull room with dusty desks and chairs, stacked away for the holidays, into a vibrant, colorful teaching environment with posters and bunting to celebrate the Winter School theme: “South Africa: A rainbow nation”.
Being a part of Winter School has really increased my passion for life like nothing else has. I loved that we could help the kids to learn by just being an example to them. It was also amazing to see what a difference it made by just listening to them and helping them one-on-one. I felt I really had the opportunity to impact individual children’s lives as the groups were small enough.
In breaks and during the outing, the volunteers shared promising stories about the students – and many laughs!
On Tuesday afternoon, after the ice-skating outing, a teacher from Litha highlighted that through Winter School we were actually protecting the children from what goes on in the community during the school holidays, where poverty, a lack of adult supervision and few productive activities can lead to destructive behaviour.
During a listening comprehension, we used a story about an eagle chick who grows up with chickens – and so starts acting like them! – to teach the children that they should never believe horrible things that are spoken about them and that they should never label anyone as anything less than what they are – a person who is made in the image of God.
I remember a friend of mine once saying, “Don’t miss out on the blessing that comes from blessing others!” This was certainly true of Winter School – I have never felt richer or more blessed than after spending the week with this class of students. Thank you so much for providing the opportunity for us as Christ-followers to serve others.
– Jacqui Mackenzie is a third year Physiotherapy student Stellenbosch University. She serves at Ignite (the kids ministry for Grades 5-7) on Sunday mornings and is a member of the Common Ground Church Bosch PM congregation.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO GET INVOLVED?
Help impact education at Litha Primary School by joining the Saturday School team, which meets with this group of learners during term time. Saturday School runs from 9-11am on Saturday mornings, and volunteers get involved on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis. Email us to find out more!