If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn

Connecting

Learning

Transforming

Children are our future. Education is power and is the key that unlocks the future. Most children in South Africa will not realise these two truths.

Connect, Learn, Transform

At Lesedi, we wish to change that and believe we can. It seems an impossible task, but as Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, “We cannot all do great things, but we can all do small things with great love.” We believe we cannot affect all children’s lives, but we can, with great love, affect those who are in our care.

We truly believe that despite the educational hand underprivileged learners have been dealt, they can make great strides in developing skills that will assist them in their schooling as well as in today’s work environment. We love them, believe in them and challenge them.

Lesedi: teaching differently

  • We strive to develop high-level thinking, inhibitory control, working memory, cognitive diversity, problem solving, creativity, communication, collaboration, and self-confidence.
  • We have adopted a Project Based Learning approach to give expression to the desire to produce 21st century skills, as we are unable to re-educate each child and fill in all the content gaps.
  • We use experientially rich constructive play to challenge and inspire our learners, who range academically from grades 4-11 and in age from 9-21 years.
  • Manipulatives are used such as Lego Educational Equipment, puzzles, physical games and educational toys from simple to elaborate; the Lego Mindstorm series (robotics) is also used.
  • Reading Eggs and Lab-on-Line, web-based reading development programmes, that use perceptual development are used to improve English literacy and reading skills. Annually, we achieve a 20 to 35% average improvement in comprehension.
Why do we do this?

  • The founders really believe:
    • every person is of incalculable value and therefore needs love and assistance, so they can make more of their life.
    • The children from our surrounding underprivileged communities need love and assistance to make possible a different life expectation.
    • That through consistently communicating love, commitment, patience, grace and dedication to these children, they will know they are valued and can improve their lives.
  • For volunteers:
    • Volunteers serve with a real desire to make a difference in the lives of our disadvantaged children.
    • Lesedi offers a practical and relevant way for the volunteers, to express this desire by giving of themselves.

How do we do this?

  • HeronBridge College (HBC) transports 185 learners from their communities by school bus.
  • The day starts with register, and devotion. The grades are then separated to go with their grade volunteers. Each grade either starts with their reading development programme or their classroom projects.
  • In the middle of the morning the children are served a meal provided by a local supermarket – Broadacres SuperSpar
  • To achieve maximum engagement and feedback on how each child is coping, we ensure enough volunteers each week for learners to work in small groups.
  • Our goal – learning as a by-product of engaged, enthusiastic and stimulating projects and educational activities.
    • Lego Foundation has partnered with us and we use its educational range of Play Boxes, 6 Bricks and Junior Mechanics sets (grades 4 & 5), Simple and Powered Machines are used by the intermediate age group (grades 6 & 7, and grades 8 & 9) and the Lego Mindstorm (robotics) series by grades 10 & 11.
    • Many other manipulatives are integrated into the programme to keep things fresh and challenging.
    • Each grade is given a grade specific project that is linked to a range of school subjects.
    • Through constructive problem solving in completing the projects the children learn language, communication, vocabulary, collaboration, presentation skills, maths and science in practical, relevant and constructive ways.
    • What is learned is then used to master new challenges and tasks, thus ensuring true learning and mastery of key skills.
  • On occasion we organise an outing or activity to enhance the learners’ lives. Past events have included pool parties, attending the HeronBridge College major production and visits to the Johannesburg Zoo, Sci-bono and the Apartheid Museum.
  • We measure the children’s progress via detailed reports on Reading Eggs and Lab-on-Line and through their school reports. We have noted that most of our Lesedi learners improved their average school results by one symbol if not two. Anecdotally, we also see marked improvements in the learners’ ability to engage with activities and use concepts learned in earlier exercises to solve new ones. This ability was previously non-existent.

We would really like our children and volunteers to be able to say with pride: “Lesedi, where we learn through fun”.

We would really like our kids and volunteers to be able to say with pride: “Lesedi, where we learn through fun”.

Archive