Thursday, April 17, 2014

Field Trip...

My granddaughter, Tessa Watson, asked me to participate in a school project with her called "Flat Stanley".  You can read about the project here Flat Stanley Project.
We have had great fun taking Flat Stanley to see the sights in South Africa.  Today we made a special trip to a school and met students and teachers who attend and work at one of the oldest schools in South Africa.  

Welcome to Shaw Park Primary School.  As you can see, this is a very old school founded in 1880.  Shaw Park is what they call in Africa a "Farm School" since it is located on rich beautiful farmland.  The drive there is about 15 minutes from the main highway on a dirt road complete with what seemed like thousands of potholes.  Because of the thick growth, it is hard to see homes, but they do exist and children live in them and thus a school.  The school offers boarding for some of the teachers so they do not have to make the 40 minute drive each day, one way,  from Port Alfred.  FYI, the flower on the logo is the National flower of South Africa  flower called King Protea.

This is Africa's version of "morning muster".  Notice all of the white faces at this school.  Farm schools accept students by application, are privately funded, have little or no violence, offer small classes, set a high standard of achievement, and teach in the English language and not the tribal Xhosa (pronounced Kosa) language.  Public schools in Africa have class sizes of up to 60 students per class and set as a passing grade 30%.  Let your imagination roam as you can imagine all the other problems that accompany those standards.

Bouso is will be eight years old on May 7th.  She is a member of our Branch that attends Shaw Park.  She was able to secure a Bursarie (scholarship) to attend from the Johnson & Johnson Company.  Thank you America and the Principal at the school !!!

Each day it is a students job to clean off the chalkboard.  Bet you haven't seen one of these for awhile.

Grade Two at Shaw Park Elementary. 

The Principal is on the left with her some of her staff.

This is the custodian at Shaw Park.  She is standing in the library.  There are a few books on one other wall and that is it.  I nearly cried when I saw this library. We are so blessed in America.   If anyone from Bowler Elementary reads this will you please show this picture to Mr. Hardy and Mrs. Millington.

Playground equipment.
Lunchroom…yup…outdoors!  I am not sure but I think it comes complete with monkeys. (and I don't mean the human ones)
These are the transports that are used each day to carry the students.  Our little Bouso catches the transport at 7:10 every morning and arrives home around 3:30.  The Principal drives one of the transports everyday from Port Alfred.

And here is what I think is one of the best parts of this school.  There is a church on site.  They are not afraid to talk about God at this school.

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