With 40+ students in a classroom many students fall behind and no one notices. With parents who do not understaind the material, no internet, no turtors and few libarys students who fall behind often never catch up. When a student fails a grade they are put back into the same classroom and taught the exact same material the same way with no added help. Math, English and Afrikaans students are pushed on without mastering the basics and become frustrated and stuck. The same happens to gifted students who want to learn more. the schools are not set up for kids to go beyond the basic education and gifted students are left wanting more with no way to get it.
The homework side offers both: One on one help to students who are behind, going back as far as needed and building a new foundation without gaps and extra lessons and study for students who want more. Positive encouragement and hands on learning designed for each student helps not only in the classroom but gives confidence in other areas as well.
High School~ Daybreak Academy
We are excited to announce the opening of our High School program, Daybreak Academy. In Jan 2018 Open Hands Community Project opened a small "cottage" school offering a subsidized, loving, safe and encouraging environment for students in grade 8-12. Small class sizes allow one on one attention for students, opportunities to address the educational gaps and encourage students to a brighter future. Students work towards a GED and will be able to study further after grade 12 if desired. Taking part of the financial burden off of parents and students while still getting a quality education allows families to put more money towards basic needs. In 2019 we will welcome 5 new learners into the program.
Our High School Program gives students the best chance at a brighter future. Many of our younger students have major learning gaps including reading comprehension. By offering an all-day program we are able to go deeper with students and focus on where they are at. In a safe environment where students are not scared or belittled they will have more opportunities to learn and grow.
We have started our program in the Steenberg and Retreat Communities. The students we work with come from both communities and live without basic needs being met. Many girls miss school because of a lack of feminine products and end up too far behind and drop out. None of our students get 3 meals in a day and most of them have gone days without eating or have a limited diet of just white bread for many meals.
OHCP provides a SAFE place for students to go after school as well as a healthy meal for each student, every day that we are open. As we are growing we are offering hygiene products inc toothbrushes, toothpaste, feminine products, deodorant, soap etc. We believe both healthy foods and having access to personal hygiene items are vital to the students wellbeing and overall quality of life.
As OHCP grows we will be incorporating different hands on training in a variety of job skills. Students who leave High School with a trade or knowledge of a trade will have a better chance of finding a job. We hope to have volunteers from abroad as well as here in South Africa teaching a variety of skills.
How OHCP makes a difference:
The FREE after school program offers homework help and will help to prepare students for senior testing. Snacks provide nutrition and help students focus. Bible studies offer students the chance to learn about God. Basic needs like hygiene products are available and help stop the spread of disease. Educational, spiritual, physical and emotional needs are being met. In the future the life skills program will bring in skilled tradesman to provide practical training the students can use for future jobs.
The South African school year is made up of 4 semesters each 11-12 weeks in length. In between each semester the students have 1-6 weeks of holiday. During the holidays there is very little for kids in the communities to do. Many spend their days playing in the streets and getting into mischief. Many parents cannot afford to take them anywhere or send them to a camp.
We are excited to announce our 1st overnight camp! From June 26-28 2018 we hosted 16 students from grades 6-8. The children had an opportunity to learn and play in a fun age appropriate setting and help develop relationships and hope. We had a team coming from Windsor Spring Baptist Church in Augusta GA to lead and invest. The students had times of worship, bible study, devotions as well as fun extracurricular activities like music, dance, games and crafts.
OHCP offers a weekly bible study program for students who are interested. While we know that education provides a way for these students to have a better life, we also know that the gospel brings hope and good news. Studying Gods word and learning to pray will help them find Hope for their future.