Having fun while learning

The Grade 8 and Grade 9 pupils of Alexander Sinton High School with their holiday programme co-ordinator Sheryl Malgas couldn't resist taking a selfie with the CEO of Community Chest, Lorenzo Davids.

A holiday programme at Alexander Sinton High School not only helped the Grade 8 and Grade 9 pupils academically, they were also inspired by motivational speakers to never give up on their dreams.

The programme, run by Sheryl Malgas, who herself was inspired to start her own company, was held from Monday June 27 to Friday July 8.

Ms Malgas is a volunteer of Reading and Writing Solutions, and it was through her association with this organisation that she was able to complete an eight-month substance abuse programme. It was while she attended this course, that the “seed was planted to start her own business”, Ms Malgas said.

She is now an English tutor for Grade 8 and Grade 9 pupils at Alexander Sinton High School and also started a company, SCM Africa Communications, in February

“I proposed a holiday programme at the school, because the children do not only have to deal with reading and spelling issues, they also have to deal with bullying and the lack of self confidence. Like the saying goes, prevention is better than cure, and how do you stop a child from ending up on the street corners? I believe the bigger issues can be dealt with or prevented by tapping into their creativity. In this way, they can apply themselves mentally. With the holiday programme we wanted to take them out of the familiar classroom environment – remove the element of formal school – but, at the same time, cultivate a culture of reading and to create a platform for creativity,” Ms Malgas said.

The programme’s guest speakers included Afsana Khan, founder of a social media company;Cole Davids, a motivational speaker ; Clint Alexander, a senior manager at Appletiser; Michelle Hinds, an energy and vitality performance practitioner; Gavin Fortune, a motivational speaker; Pastor Neldene Kleinsmidt, from the Apostolic Faith Mission, and Lorenzo Davids, CEO of Community Chest.

Ms Malgas also acknowledged Samantha Faure, from Reading and Writing Solutions, whom she says, was instrumental in her development.

Curtley de Jongh, 14, from Hanover Park, said he had learnt you can accomplish anything if you work hard, plan and are committed. He hopes to be a zoologist one day.

Jennilee Hendricks, 14, from Manenberg, was inspired to write a poem.

“I’ve learnt that taking responsibility for your actions is important. You can never blame another person for what you decided to do. I feel inspired after the motivational talks, and am even more determined now than ever to become a police officer, so that I can help my community,” Jennilee said.

Trophies and books were given to the winners of the “Soundtrack of my Life” – for the best poetry and song. Ms Malgas thanked everyone who had helped her, including Gwen Adams; her nieces, Micaela Moses, Caylin Malgas, and Cheryl-Jane Malgas; as well as Mr Alexander for the refreshments, notepads, pens, caps and chargers.