This term has been a busy one for sure! Our classrooms are looking beautiful. A basin with running water was installed in the Blue Classroom. The pigeon holes were finally completed so each learner now has a place to store their belongings during the day. New classroom doors were added, which meant that the classrooms are more secure and weather-tight than they were before – and Virginia no longer needs to use a pair of pliers to open her door! A peace garden of aloes and other indigenous plants was planted in the playground by Garth Perry of Bushbuck Nursery. Thanks to Carey Olsen for footing the bill for the garden and classroom renovations!
Almost a year ago, a group of ladies from East London began their quest: To knit a blanket for each learner at the school. By April they had fulfilled their mission and surprised the children with the most beautiful hand-knit blankets, each with their own name tag. The children were delighted! Their generosity didn’t stop there and the Knitting Nannies continued knitting through May, so that the following month all the children were presented with matching beanies and scarves in the school’s colours. No doubt our learners will be cozy and warm this winter thanks to these lovely ladies. A special thank you to Jean Hempel who initiated this wonderful idea, and to Anne Kowie-Christie for traveling all the way from East London to hand them out to each lucky learner.
Along a similar vein, Alexa Beckley has been liaising with Frances Becker of Nomvula’s Knitters, and together they’ve put together a pack containing all the materials needed to knit a lovely warm jersey for a child at Talhado. The pack costs a mere R40 and can be purchased at Nomvula’s Knitters in the village. If you’re looking for a way to keep your fingers occupied this winter, please drop by and pick up your pack. They’re sleeveless, so should be an easy task for any level of knitter. The completed jerseys can be dropped back at Nomvula’s, or directly at the office of Talhado Children’s Haven. If you can’t knit (or don’t have the time), and would still like to supply a child with a jersey, you can ask at Nomvula’s and they will knit it for you for a small fee.
UK Rotarian Robin Jackson and his wife Esther visit their holiday home in Cape St Francis annually and while here, they join our local St Francis Rotarians for meetings and fellowship. This year they joined the St Francis Rotarians on a visit to our new Montessori School. They were so impressed that on their return to the UK, Robin gave his club members at the Rotary Club of Woking in Surrey a presentation on his visit and appealed to his club for financial support for the school. The club made a generous donation which has been used to purchase much needed brand new Montessori equipment for both classrooms. Montessori materials are costly and some cannot be home-made, so we were grateful for the boost of new equipment in the classrooms. A very big thank you to Robin and Rotary for their support! We even made it into the tabloids of the Woking News and Mail!
A surprise delivery arrived midway through the term. Five large boxes containing beautiful Lego pieces! Thanks for the direction of Philip Haas from Handsontech, the distributor for Lego. Philip guided us through the process in applying for charity Lego and within a few weeks we had five boxes of Lego Foundation Play Boxes. It’s wonderful to see the children’s imaginations challenged as they construct works of art every day.
The Ukupha ladies of St Francis Bay continue to bring joy to Talhado with their monthly birthday visits. In true Montessori style, birthdays are celebrated in the classroom by the children forming a circle, the teacher lights a candle (representing the sun) and places it in the middle of the circle. The birthday child walks around the candle, while holding the globe in his hands. He circles the candle as many times as his age. This represents the amount of times the earth has revolved around the sun in his lifetime.
Three friends from Woodridge College spent some time at Talhado doing community service. They helped the children with their work and then prepared a sumptuous feast of hot dogs for the whole school at lunchtime. Thank you Oli, Brandon and Thomas for sharing your time and smiles with us!
It’s fantastic when schools can help each other! Our pantry cupboards continued to fill as we welcomed weekly donations of dry goods from the children of St Francis College as part of their Thoughtful Thursday project headed up by Lorrin Jarvis and the PA of St Francis College. The food that was donated throughout the term will see us well into the next term and has eased our costs of purchasing much of the food for our soup kitchen. When school opens up again Talhado Montessori learners will enjoy a cooked meal prepared in our kitchen by the Grade 7 learners of St Francis College.
Next week Tuesday, 18th July, is Mandela Day. This is a day where all citizens of South Africa are encouraged to donate 67 minutes of their time to doing something good for the community, in honor of the great man who gave as many years of his life to serving this country. In the words of Nelson Mandela: “Each of us as citizens, has a role to play in creating a better world for our children.” (9 May 2002).
For Mandela Day, Talhado Children’s Haven is hosting an afternoon of golf at the Links Golf Course. Teams entered will compete to see how many holes of golf they can play by hitting, kicking or throwing the ball around the course for 67 minutes. This will be Talhado’s main fundraising event of the year so please do let us know if you would like to contribute by pledging any amount as our golfers take to the course for a fun afternoon of extreme golf
Talhado’s founder and my mentor, Lesley Moore, has recently been unwell and will possibly be undergoing some serious medical treatment very soon. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. Lesley we wish you strength ahead that you can be back on your feet and feeling better very soon.
We’re very proud to launch our “new look” website, thanks to the technical expertise of Christina Tancredi, a volunteer at Talhado Montessori. Please take a peek! www.talhadochildrenshaven.org
You can also follow us on Instagram http://instagram.com/talhadomontessori for some lovely photos of our Montessori classes in action.
On that note, I will sign off and trust that you all stay warm this winter.