This has been one of the most productive visits we’ve had

This has been one of the most productive visits we’ve had

The Kugler family have been supporting The Education Support Programme at AV Bukani for over 10 years – here are some extracts from their blog about their latest trip this year

“One of the major factors impacting this year is an improvement in electronic communication.  All the teachers and the community leaders communicate through WhatsApp and email on their phones. In past years, email was spotty and the basic phones were hard to use and limited to local calls; communication basically ended once we left. But this year, we have been able to clearly communicate electronically with contacts at the school and in the community while in South Africa and now that we’re home. This enables us to constantly stay in touch with the principal and to start some efforts in S.A. that we are continuing to develop in the U.S. “

” Something new, unexpected, and highly encouraging was two teachers having prepared complete written lesson plans. This had never happened in any previous visit. Ms. Nongongona, a grade 3 teacher Larry has worked with in the past, introduced her Big Book lesson by reading a poem that perfectly set the stage for the message of the book. She even developed three activities as a follow up, geared to the different capabilities of her students. Ms. Ntshoko, the head teacher for grades R (kindergarten) and 1, who Eileen had worked with, excitedly asked Larry to come observe a Big Book lesson. She invited her fellow Grade 1 teachers to observe and share comments. There was a desk set up with a printed copy of her lesson plan, a blank sheet of paper and a pencil (for Larry to take notes), all ready for him. Both teachers incorporated so many appropriate components of a lesson into their planning and both implemented very effective lessons that engaged their learners. “

You are Making a Difference
For those of you who have donated time and money to this project over the years, we hope you have seen the impact. Here is a summary of what we were able to accomplish so far this year through volunteer time and the resources provided by your continuing donations.
* Professional development for teachers of English in Grades 3 – 7 on use of Big Books, Read-alouds and Think-Pair-Share/Write.

* Professional development for teachers in Grade 1 on Read-alouds and Big Books.

*Donation of laptops which were equipped with new hard-drives, Windows and Office. (We appreciate our anonymous laptop donor!) 

*Purchase of memory to upgrade existing computers in the lab.  * Donation of new big books and accompanying sets of classroom readers (Special thanks to Reed O’Brien of O’Brien Associates of Richmond)

* Recruitment and support of a librarian-in-training for A.V. Bukani for three days per week, including mentoring by the municipal librarians and Bukani staff.

* Support of comprehensive computer training for the entire A.V. Bukani staff in a 10-module program after school.

* A family engagement program to build a love of books and reading. 

To read the full story from The Kuglers about their bond with AV Bukani School take a look here

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