Noah’s Ark develops young minds

2017-11-02 06:00
Principal Sharifa Hendricks, teacher Desiree Faulkner and Astrid Vos from Victory4All Projects are some of the team members who forms part of the driving force behind the success of Noah’s Playschool in Pellsrus. With them are learners Iminathi Makana, Chadley Vaaltuin and Oyinthando Katoo.Photo:MONIQUE BASSON

Principal Sharifa Hendricks, teacher Desiree Faulkner and Astrid Vos from Victory4All Projects are some of the team members who forms part of the driving force behind the success of Noah’s Playschool in Pellsrus. With them are learners Iminathi Makana, Chadley Vaaltuin and Oyinthando Katoo.Photo:MONIQUE BASSON

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IT was in a small home in Pellsrus that a couple started a playschool 12 years ago - not knowing how long they would call Jeffreys Bay home or where they would get a building of their own.

Today, more than a decade later, Noah’s Ark Playschool is home to 123 children between 18 months and five years old, 12 staff members, seven classrooms and a huge playground.

Johan and Astrid Vos from Victory4All Projects who spearheaded this worthy project after realising the dire need for formal education among preschool learners in the informal settlements in Jeffreys Bay, will never forget their humble beginnings in 2005: with only one teacher and five learners.

Noah’s Ark is more than just a school.

“From a very young age we try to contribute to their development. This includes their mental and physical well-being and development,” says Principal Sharifa Hendricks.

“Before our children go to primary school, a firm foundation for development is established through playing, crafting, singing, dancing and stories.

“We place special emphasis on sensory activities and cater for each learner’s individual needs to ensure they perform to the best of their ability.”

They also have a reading system for the last three years, where children take books for their parents to read to them - educating both learners and parents.

Not to forget about the toothbrush for each learner to teach them oral hygiene from a very young age.

Each learner is provided with two healthy meals a day: warm porridge and a balanced cooked meal. Learners who cannot afford to bring a sandwich to school, also receive a sandwich as a snack.

The school furthermore provides 24 families with bread weekly.

“We find immense satisfaction in what we do,” says Hendricks. “We stand amazed to see how they grow - going from preschool to primary school, and finally high school.”

According to Hendricks, the biggest challenges they face are the involvement of parents and funding. Noah’s Ark Playschool asks a minimum amount for school fees, and thus relies heavily on the goodwill of community members. Any donations, monetary or food, are highly appreciated.

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