John Wesley receives reading lab

2018-01-16 06:01
PHOTO: nosipho mkhizeJohn Wesley School pupils (from left) Sbonokuhle Sithobe, Liam Loughnane from Kerry and Tito Chonco.

PHOTO: nosipho mkhizeJohn Wesley School pupils (from left) Sbonokuhle Sithobe, Liam Loughnane from Kerry and Tito Chonco.

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EMPLOYEES from Kerry, the world’s leading supplier and provider of taste and nutrition solutions for the food, beverage and the pharmaceutical industries, officially handed over a new reading lab to the John Wesley School recently. With learning tools such as interactive software and applications, the Kerry Discovery Centre provides 600 pupils with a conducive and inviting environment to foster a love of reading, to improve their English and to prepare them for success in the digital age.

Presided over by the headmaster, teachers and excited pupils – many of whom are already using the reading lab – the handover marked the end of a two-month project, the latest in a series of community programmes by Kerry to support education in South Africa. During the ceremony, students also received a special care package from Kerry, filled to the brim with snacks donated by Kerry’s partners around South Africa.

Initiated and driven by employees from the neighbouring Kerry manufacturing facility in New Germany, 20 computers and peripherals including keyboards, computer mouses, screens and headsets were donated to the school. With the IT system in place, students in the new Kerry Discovery Centre are able to immerse themselves in their favourite stories, as adventures and characters come to life from beyond the pages of their books.

Over the course of two months, Kerry employees volunteered to overhaul the bare reading lab with IT infrastructure, fixtures and furnishings to make it fully functional for the pupils. The school also hired a local artist to provide finishing touches to the space by hand-painting the walls which are now adorned with murals of inspirational characters and quotes by Roald Dahl, a beloved author of classic children’s books.

Mr Darron Tarr, headmaster of John Wesley School said: “The new reading lab has generated a great deal of excitement within the school, not just on the part of the pupils, but also among the teachers.

“Everybody recognises the potential of this reading lab to significantly elevate the reading and spelling ages of our children and enhance their comprehension capacity. This in turn will add efficiency and a new dimension to their learning in all of the learning areas offered at John Wesley School and success will be a natural outcome.

“This is the first fully-equipped and furnished reading lab in the school and it would not have been possible without the generosity of Kerry. It is a blessing for which we are truly grateful and appreciative.”

Tumelo Khathi, in Grade 6 said: “The new lab will help us to improve our reading and comprehension skills. We are very grateful to Kerry for generously donating the computers to the school and giving us such a relaxed and cool space to learn.”

As pupils gain more confidence and improve their proficiency in the English language, it will strengthen their understanding of concepts in science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) – a key education focus for South Africa.

Paul Hewitt, Sub-Saharan Africa General Manager, Kerry said: “We have a track record of engaging and supporting the South African community since we started our operation in South Africa in 2011. We recognise our responsibilities to the local communities we operate in, and we want to contribute in any way we can to change lives for the better. With this guiding philosophy, our employees are empowered to source for, lead and be a part of various charitable initiatives and causes. With the Kerry.”- Supplied.


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