GEORGE NEWS & VIDEO - The Ordinary Magic for Mandela campaign, a project that wants to open up the world of reading to children in George, was launched at the 6th annual George HeraldMandela Day Sandwich Jam today.
During her opening message at the morning's proceedings, Group Editors Operations Director Nicole Rimbault said the George Heraldmanagement team felt that making 10 000 sandwiches during the Sandwich Jam every year does not do full justice to Nelson Mandela’s legacy.
While the Sandwich Jam will continue every year, the Ordinary Magic for Mandela project has been added.
During today's Sandwich Jam, 24 teams worked shoulder to shoulder to make 10 000 sandwiches in 67 minutes. The sandwiches were distributed among 24 community service organisations and state health clinics.
Algoa FM's Lance du Plessis had a lively vibe going with his music and made the crowd do some dance moves to the Algoa FM jingle. Crossfit's coffee and muffins kept the teams going.
Ingredients for the sandwiches were donated by Outeniqua Bakery, Lancewood and Watson’s Meat. Interwaste’s donation of boxes made the transport of the enormous gift to the community possible and Globeflight ensured that each sandwich was delivered to its destination.
The participating teams were: George Herald, Grocery Express, Realty, Cooling Co, Aurecon, Lancewood, Half Way Toyota, Van Rensburgs Auctions, Grant Thornton, Avis, Sotheby's, Globeflight, Acsa, Canon, Nedbank, George Business Chamber, Eden Lions, George Municipality, National Prosecution Authorities, CrossFit, MTO, Curves, Views Boutique Hotel and George Municipality.
Organisations that received sandwiches were Phambili Refuge for battered women and children, Thembalethu Square, Life Community Services, George Night Shelter, George Child Welfare, ACVV, Badisa, Kidstop, Rosemoor Old Age Home, Harry Comay TB Hospital, Pacaltsdorp Day Hospital, Thembalethu Clinic, Rosemoor Clinic, Bethesda, Rosemoor Service Centre, the National Prosecuting Authority, George Hospital, Conville Clinic, Touwsranten community, SPCA workers, Blanco Clinic, Lawaaikamp Clinic and Pacaltdorp Clinic.
About the Ordinary Magic for Mandela campaign Ilse Schoonraad, Group Editors editor-in-chief, said the new project will not only involve the donation of books to underprivileged communities, but also story reading by volunteers to groups of children once a week. "We need people who are willing to share a little bit of their time and lots of their creativity and reading ability with kids in our community." 'Reading for pleasure' sessions will be started at the Uniting Reformed Church after-care centre in Thembalethu and at the ACVV Rooibootjie crèche in Syferfontein.
"We need your support to make the identified reading centres spaces where kids feel relaxed and at peace. Soft, light classical music in the background - no hip hop, but Richard Clayderman will do, cushions for the kids to sit on and something to eat before we start reading. We need children’s books in English, Afrikaans and Xhosa."
Schoonraad said that exposure to language, stories and books during early childhood can narrow down the gap between privileged and underprivileged children who grow up in the unequal, divided South African society. "Toddlers who hear more words and stories develop a bigger vocabulary and when they go to school they read better and with greater understanding. Language and reading are key to greater insight. School kids who struggle to learn, increasingly fall behind until it is impossible for them to ever catch up. And so the cycle of poverty and inequality is repeated generation after generation."
The name of the project was adopted from a term used by the American psychologist, Ann Masten, who did research on why certain children manage to be achievers in spite of poverty. She found that such children have in common a loving parent or care giver, another adult who encourages them, and opportunities, however small, at critical times in the child’s life. "She calls this the Ordinary Magic that can shape a future. If you get on board today, we can create a real-life fairytale right here in George - a story future generations will read about in the George Herald for many years to come," said Schoonraad.
Individuals or businesses who would like to make book donations or become involved in the reading sessions, may contact Schoonraad on 082 724 0402 or 044 874 2424 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or Lorraine Verhagen on 044 874 2424 or email@example.com.
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