In a wonderful gesture of support for Umduduzi Hospice Care for Children, situated in Durban, South Africa, young Grade 0 pupils from Crawford La Lucia Pre-Primary School, found a way to show how care for their community can also be an educational experience for all.
School principal, Sue Pilkington Williams, writes that in her school, developing a more integrated programme has been a priority this year and their focus in the classroom was to explore the concept of care.
Within this context, one of the school’s Grade 0 children, Shayla Naidoo, explained to her classmates that her mom, a doctor, knew of an organisation that cared for children who were very ill and in need of comfort and support. As the discussion progressed the children decided that medicine, toys, warm beds and food for these sick children would cost money and perhaps, as a class, they could donate money to the organisation.
This led to a discussion around the problem of where they could source this money. On their own they came up with the idea of selling something they had made themselves to the younger children in the school.
The project is born
Dr Ramnarain, (Shayla’s mum) came to speak to the children about Umduduzi, Hospice Care for Children and the meaning of palliative care. Principal, Sue Pilkington Williams, explains, “We believe our children need to develop a social conscience and awareness of the larger community. We underestimate the ability of our children to think with deep, insightful understanding and the teachers were amazed at the responses of the children as they voiced their feelings and need to offer support.”
The children chose and set the market date and sent out invitations to the other classes in the school, with a request to bring two R5 coins (less than $1) to shop at the market. As homework, the children were asked to make and create three items to bring to school to sell at their market table.
The emphasis was on the child’s choice of item to sell, and the making of the item in collaboration of their parents. Much incidental discussion arose as the children decided on their product. They viewed Pinterest ideas and shared their ideas and thoughts within their groups. They researched the word market and decided on how to plan and set up their sale.
The big day
Describing the atmosphere on the day, Sue Pilkington Williams says, “As we walked into school on the morning of our Market Day the excitement throughout the school was most evident. The Grade 0 children began setting up their market tables, some with labels and decorations and they were all keen to make money. The younger children arrived and the process of selling and purchasing began. The more confident ones discovered the art of persuasion and soon sold their goods. The quieter children waited patiently before requesting assistance from their peers to assist with the marketing of their goods. The younger children were guided into walking through the whole market before selecting 2 items to purchase – which gave them time to view and then choose their individual favourites!”
All the learning areas
Reflecting on the event, Sue writes that as the teachers stood back and observed this exceptional learning experience, they noted that all the learning areas of Maths, Language and Life Skills were covered in this project, including the essential skills of communication, creativity, collaboration, critical thinking along with a sense of caring for the community.
A grand total of R2500 (approx $200) was raised by the caring Grade 0 children of the school and donated to Umduduzi, Hospice Care for Children. This amount was most gratefully received by the organisation.