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Red Hill Water Workshop

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CBN was fortunate to get sponsorship from Pick n Pay for a small workshop in Red Hill in February. It was held on Saturday 28th at Simon’s Town Library.

Saturday morning is a great time for a workshop. No school, weekend … freedom. Seventeen children climbed aboard our faithful transport from Oceans Tours and were driven down from Red Hill to Simon’s Town Library where a wide variety of experiences waited for them. But first a strengthening breakfast before the exertions.

Our programme shifted slightly to accommodate transport needs and a most delightful invitation to visit the library after the workshop, which the children enjoyed immensely. Librarian Lucia Marais attended the beginning of the workshop and hosted a visit from the whole group at the end for a tour of the resources and a spot of quiet reading.

Although our focus is always on reading, we approach it from several different angles. The children come to our workshops in their spare time. This is not school. They have to have fun – in fact our core principle is that children should be thoughtful, be happy, be stimulated with different cultural experiences and, above all, enjoy the reading and writing experiences.

Age groups, as always, are flexible. The call was for 9, 10 and 11 year-olds, but fourteen year-old and a five-year old (who couldn’t actually read yet) joined on and entered into the spirit of things.

Fiona McGregor, who is a publisher with a distinguished career (now at Cambridge University Press) and a long history of involvement with children and reading, volunteered to give a fun yoga class illustrating how even activities can be learned from books. The children (and some of the adults, including Long-standing CBN friend and transporter Denzil Jehovah), joined in with enthusiasm. Fiona followed that with a reading (and demonstration) of Michael William’s book You can Dance.

Our theme was water and we moved on to water stories and thinking about how water affects – indeed dominates – our lives. Lesley and Anele worked together on water sounds, water stories and water music. The children listened with their eyes closed and discussed how different music made them think of water in different moods. Lesley read a story written especially for the workshop about a long-ago boy who forgot that you should never hunt alone – and always know where water is.

The children moved into four groups for a writing activity using pre-prepared cards with water words to use in sentences and filled in simple evaluation forms before moving to the library to read more books on Water and find out where they were kept.

This workshop was also the opportunity for the presentation to Red Hill container library of books from several sources. Two parcels of books were donated from the Books of the World project of Rotary Newlands. There were also dictionaries donated by DG Murray Trust with Rotary Cape of Good Hope and some picture books from author Dianne Hofmeyr, who spoke to the children last year.

CBN would like to enthusiastically thank:
• Pick n Pay for the kind sponsorship that made this workshop possible.
• Lucia Marais and the staff at Simon’s Town Library for the use of the facilities
• Buyiswa Ponti for her sterling work in getting the children mustered
• Ashake Bakajana for accompanying one taxi and helping at the workshop
• Jane Borman for administrative assistance and help
• Jay Heale for presenting the book donations
• Ann-Marie Losman and Guy Moreau for taking beautiful pictures
• Guests from Sweden, France, Cape Town and CEO of CBN, Roy Zazeraj of Rotary Newlands.
• Our marvellous facilitators Fiona McGregor and Anele Mhlahlo