If there is one thing the SBA has learned with the world over the last 15 months, it is that a restriction in flesh can sometimes be the best driving force for a new heyday in the spirit. The world was forced to think anew to keep going, but beyond worry and fear of the unknown, lies growth. It remains a privilege for the SBA to become involved in communities at the grassroots level and to be part of this process of connecting communities with new opportunities and of treading tracks in which our youth in particular can follow with confidence.
One of the SBA’s proud additions over the past month, as part of a new digital focus alongside fieldwork, is a digital reading corner at Artscape that opened on June 16 and the enjoyment of stories and creative development for young children on a unlocked fashionably.
The launch of the digital reading corner with SBA children’s publications in celebration of Youth Day is also a gift from the SBA to Artscape as this institution celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. With theatre as a core where stories come to life through performing arts, it was only a natural outcome for the SBA to be able to share our source of multilingual stories with theater-goers here as well.
Three children’s publications from the SBA, Fatima , Robbie the Rough Rat and Die Kokerboom are available for visitors in the reading corner. The publications are loaded in electronic format on tablets and interactive reading and learning possibilities through a specially designed application give users access to creative learning opportunities and self-discovery. Fatima and Die Kokerboom are also coloring books that can be colored in on the tablet.
Like all SBA projects, this initiative also has a built-in handicapped focus in that the application is available with all the publications on a braille touch plus tablet at the reading corner. Visually impaired people can therefore use this device to utilize all the functions of the app. Elaborate versions of all the publications can also be enjoyed.
The Grade 3 class of Karookop Primary in the Berg River Municipality and also learners of Athlone School for the Blind were the guests of honor at Artscape on Youth Day during the launch of the digital reading corner.
Idiom art speaks volumes
If you talk to any language teacher or language lover, teaching idioms and preserving these language treasures is a challenge for the younger generations.
An opportunity to give recognition through Afrikaans to the value of figurative language across language boundaries was for the SBA the ideal opportunity to breathe new life into our young people’s experience of idioms.
A list of 22 isiXhosa idioms around the theme of water was the starting point for the SBA’s idiom book, We all drink from the same stream , of which 3 000 copies were already distributed in February and March 2021 among selected schools of the Cape metro education district.
The project was a joint celebration of International Mother Language Day (21 February), Water Day (22 March) and Art Day (15 April) in that learners were invited to visually represent one of the idioms as part of a larger art exhibition.
30 finalists’ performances were selected to form part of the exhibition, which is open for viewing by the public at Artscape from 16 June to August. Covid-19 has forced the launch event, which was also planned for June 16, in a different direction, but a celebration of the selected Grade 8 learners’ artwork is planned for later this spring – quite fittingly as a floral product. after a difficult winter.
Click here and look at p. 4 and 5 of our newsletter in May to the 30 finalists’ visual representations of the idioms as found in We all drink from the same stream.
We will be peeking in again soon to share with you the activities in the SBA flower garden. Feel free to let us know what your community is doing and share initiatives that show that we can each flourish where we are planted in the language garden. * Photographer: Natalie Gabriels