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Help inspire children to imagine, create and learn

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My name is Carole Scott and I am the Materials Director at Africa A+ Schools based in South Africa and currently involved in two 3-5 year Early Childhood Development interventions in the Eastern Cape Province. Many of these ECD centers have very little or no resources.

AFRICA A+ SCHOOLS is a non profit organization that focuses on enabling quality education in the early years by nurturing children’s creativity, problem solving and critical thinking skills no matter the context.

One of the organizations projects is Izinto Africa, a fledgling initiative modeled after the Remida in Reggio Emilia, Italy and Teaching Beyond the Square in NYC both of which are dedicated to the collection, storing and curating of discarded materials from local businesses for creative re-use in Early Childhood Centres and schools. Materials include discarded industrial materials and household recyclables.

See the example of Teaching Beyond the Square's Materials Center in the following photographs.

A photo showing work from a recent workshop on working with materials.

Thanks to an angel funder, iZinto recently acquired a warehouse space to store materials to be used and distributed to the participating schools. This is an exciting start to to the emergence of a local resource base for the training of teachers in the use of these materials for creative teaching and learning in their own schools. In order get the project up and running in phase one we need basic infrastructure such as:

  • Shelving and storage bins for materials
  • Simple tables and chairs for workshops
  • Cleaning supplies for sanitising materials
  • Movable crates for transporting materials to schools
  • 12 months salary for a local community member to manage the iZinto Materials Center

To extend our outreach to the rural communities phase two will include the development of a mobile iZinto materials unit. This will include funding for:

  • Vehicle for rural outreach and bringing materials to schools
  • Insurance and maintenance of vehicle for 3 years
  • Fuel for field trips for 12 months

Part of the Africa A+ Schools work includes the training of teachers and the modeling of teaching practices on site at the schools. The above photograph shows the teachers being introduced to and working with materials during a recent workshop. This last photograph shows how materials can be used for story telling in the classroom. It also draws attention to the lack of available learning materials in a typical ECD center in this setting .

With your support, we can continue the ethical practice of using these materials in the classroom, fostering child-centered, experiential learning while giving new life to inexpensive recycled and discarded materials. At the same time, extending our reach to more rural communities in South Africa.

$10 buys cleaning and sanitation supplies for materials for a month

$20 buys 3 medium storage bins

$50 buys 6 large storage bins

$100 buys one HDXChrome 6-Tier Heavy Duty Metal Wire Shelving Unit (48 in. W x 72 in. H x 18 in. D)

$250 buys 25 movable crates for transporting materials to field trip site visits

$500 buys 5 HDXChrome 6-Tier Heavy Duty Metal Wire Shelving Unit (48 in. W x 72 in. H x 18 in. D)

$1000 buys fuel for field trips for 1 year

$5000 buys insurance and maintenance of vehicle for 3 years

$10 000 buys a salary for a local community member to manage facility for one year

$15 000 buys tables and chairs for workshops held at the facility

$30 000 buys a vehicle for rural outreach and for bringing materials to schools

As one teacher recently reflected after a iZinto workshop, “I will never look down on the resources like bottle-tops, they are everywhere”.

We welcome any gift of support for our initiative that values the worth of every child's right to a quality education while simultaneously protecting our environment.

You can follow iZinto on Instagram iZinto Africa

You can read more about:

Africa A+ Schools at Africa A Plus Schools

Remida, Reggio Emilia at Remida

Teaching Beyond the Square at Teaching Beyond the Square



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Carole Scott
Beechford, NY

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