Rutgers Women Transforming South African Classrooms

January 10, 2011 on 11:33 am | In Uncategorized | No Comments

Africana_House_grp-Soweto_signImagine studying geography without a map or learning about economic migration without a window into theĀ  country right next door to you. For many students in the townships of South Africa, social studies is very abstract but an excited group of Rutgers University students, members of the Africana House of the Douglass Residential College are transforming a classroom in the heart of Soweto into a social studies room that will connect township students with the wider world. Working alongside local educators and South African college students, the primary school classroom will be repainted, the floor tiled and and the furniture repaired. A variety of media resources will also be installed to create an enriched environment.

The women from the Africana House have been working towards this goal for the past five months. The participated in the Global Literacy Project’s “Walk for Literacy” to raise funding towards the trip and they volunteered in GLP’s New Jersey elementary school reading programs to gain experience.

Thabisile-Social_Studies_room-beforeThe core idea of installing a social studies room at the Thabisile Primary School is actually an outgrowth of GLP’s multi-year School-to-School partnership between Thabisile in South Africa and the Chatham Day School (CDS) in New Jersey. During the 2010 school year, students at CDS conducted several book drives and fund raisers for Thabisile. This included a fundraisers around bead-work created by Thabisile students and parents that was brought back to CDS. In deciding what project GLP should support with the CDS donation, inspiration came from the popular social studies room at CDS.

The project is now underway and by next week we should see a final report with pictures!

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