A training session for Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT) trip leaders was held at the Wilderness Safaris offices in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. The aim was to introduce and familiarise trip leaders on the Stellar Wordworks Literacy Programme that their guests will be involved in on visits to the various Zimbabwean primary schools supported by Grand Circle.
Overseas Adventure Travel undertakes school visits to three schools: two outside Victoria Falls and one in Hwange. Guest interaction with students is invaluable, as it provides exposure and an opportunity for the children, many of whom English is a second language, to listen, build language, encourage learning and hone their English skills. However, to ensure meaningful interactions and a mutually beneficial experience for both, the guests and the students, the Wordworks Literacy Programme has been implemented in the schools with the guests as the ‘teachers’.
Wordworks is a resource-based literacy programme aimed at early language and literacy development for children where English is a second language. Many primary school children in Zimbabwe, struggle to read, let alone comprehend what they are reading. Workworks uses practical fun ideas for the development of language and literacy. Students also get to keep a small print out of the story that they read and are able to colour this in. Each guest works with two students, making it highly beneficial as more time can be spent on each child, giving them more individual reading time.
At the training session, following a discussion on how to make the Wordworks programme work in the best way possible, the trip leaders became the students. In small groups, they went through the kit, reading the stories and ‘teaching’ each other so that they become familiar with the programme. It was a lively session filled with laughter and enthusiasm, as each trip leader got fully involved.
The session was hugely 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 school visits go.