Children in the Wilderness Zimbabwe, in collaboration with Wordworks, (a non-profit organisation based in South Africa), recently held a hugely successful Early Literacy Teacher Training Workshop in Victoria Falls. Thanks to generous donor funding from across the globe, including contributions from the Zambezi Cycle Challenge, various private individuals and corporations, 37 Early Childhood Development (ECD) teachers from rural schools in three countries including Zimbabwe, Botswana and Zambia, were able to attend the comprehensive 5-day teacher training workshop.
Established in 2005, Wordworks (www.wordworks.org.za) was developed specifically to meet the needs of communities in rural Southern Africa by supporting and improving literacy and language development of children from disadvantaged communities, in particular with regard to teaching English as an additional language. Their training workshops share materials, know-how and enthusiasm in a respectful and inclusive way, so as to ensure that all our children can learn to read and write successfully.
“l was excited and could easily participate with the discussions. The program is very informative and a mind and eye opener because most of the things discussed do not cost any money to implement they just need patience and active involvement from the parents, teachers and administrators of the schools. The workshop is also giving me the opportunity to research more and be well equipped” – participating teacher.
One common factor that stood out at the Workshop with teachers from all three countries was that they each faced a similar problem in the classroom when it came down to starting points and teaching processes. Teachers from each school were also provided with a Wordworks Teacher Kit to take away with them which included detailed instructions, lesson plans and resources which provided them with new ways to apply simple teaching methods in a structured program that is easy to follow as well as fun and stimulating for the children. The course was based on the ‘STELLAR’ Programme, which stands for ‘Strengthening Teaching of Early Language and Literacy in Grade R.’ CITW Zambezi Region, was ecstatic with the results of this 5-day workshop and is pleased to report that a partnership has now been formed between CITW and Wordworks, and is confident the programme will develop further.
“For the first time in a long time my passion for teaching is coming back. I gained confidence in my teaching and will put more efforts in my teaching skills”- participating teacher.