Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT) guests undertake school visits to three CITW-partnered schools in Zimbabwe: two just outside Victoria Falls and one in Hwange. Guest interaction with students is invaluable, as it provides an opportunity for children to speak and expand on their English skills.
However, as Grand Circle Foundation and OAT strongly believe that the school day should not be disrupted due to guest visits, the Stellar Wordworks Literacy Programme is used so that there is a mutual benefit for students and guests.
Wordworks is a literacy programme aimed at early language and literacy development for children. Many primary school children in Zimbabwe, while able to read, lack comprehension skills. Thus, Wordworks combines reading and visual resources to help comprehension, in addition to word recognition. Each guest works with two students for 25-30 minutes, making it highly beneficial as more time can be spent on each child, giving them more individual reading time before heading back to their class.
A training session for Overseas Adventure Travel trip leaders was held at the Wilderness Safaris office in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, recently, the aim being to teach trip leaders about the Stellar Wordworks Literacy Programme their guests use.
The session with the trip leaders was very successful and will provide tangible benefits as the trip leaders are able to be more involved with the programme. This ensures that both guests and children benefit as much as possible. We thank the trip leaders for their time and look forward to their feedback on how the programme goes on visits to the schools.
Report by Sarah Adams