Fresh ideas from the Big Apple

A group of wonderful ladies all the way from New York recently visited Madlala High School and spent a morning interacting with our grade nine pupils. That’s over 140 students in two classes.

Jennifer Frid is a biology teacher and she designed two lessons on North American marine biology. Now that’s something different.

As well as videos which she showed using her iPad, Jennifer brought actual samples for the learners to see, touch and smell (see the photo below – “the beach comes to, dusty Madlala”).

Debra Dong – an English teacher – facilitated lessons in both concrete and acrostic poetry. The learners were incredibly creative and spent time writing their own poems. Debra was also kind enough to hand out poetry books for the learners to keep.

Kristine Dong arranged for “Staples” – a large US stationery store – to donate supplies for the learners, which they later used to decorate their poetry books.

We have two grade nine classes at Madlala, A and B. In A there are 69 learners and in B there are 72. This was quite overwhelming for Jennifer and Debra at first, as you can imagine. When Debra began her lesson, she thought we had the two classes combined and was shocked to learn that it was actually one class.

In the end I am sure the entire school would have crowded into that classroom if they could.

Being a past student of Madlala High School, I had to slow down to understand the significance of this visit. Teachers from the Big Apple, dedicating their own time to bringing new, interactive lessons to Madlala. That’s something!

Both Jennifer and Debra have been in contact to say “thank you” but actually – on behalf of all the learners and staff of Madlala High School – it is us who extend our heartfelt thanks and gratitude – for your time, your preparation and your generous donations. For the learners this was a magical day, filled with new ideas, interactive classes and time spent being creative.

I have included two messages from Jennifer and Debra below. We hope to see all of you again soon.

I just wanted to say thank you for providing me with such a wonderful opportunity to be able to go into the community that you help to teach the children. It was an absolutely amazing experience and really has made me fall in love with teaching all over again! You guys are doing an awesome job… keep it! Jenni Frid

Hi Linky, Kate, Witness, Pleasure, and Patrick! Greetings from New York! We arrived home today and already miss you all. I had so much fun teaching your ninth graders about poetry. They are wonderful poets. I hope they continue writing in their poetry books. Thank you all for the opportunity to be a part of your day. Debra Dong

If you are interested in volunteering your time at any one of our Digital Learning Centres, please feel free to contact us here.

Kind regards,

Linky Nkuna
Centre Coordinator, Madlala Digital Learning Centre