GG#1636129: To provide Knysna, South Africa, through three renovated buildings, a combined model preschool and hands-on teacher training center. This center will train teachers in early childhood schooling, basic literacy and numeracy, and provide a child friendly learning environment for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. The teachers will achieve a recognized and certified qualification. The Knysna area remains economically divided with challenges of poverty and unemployment. Many children lack basic education, care and nutrition. Universally recognized studies, confirmed by local South African studies, show that the key to successful formal education starts with early childhood education. Project was funded by: Meadowvale, Knysna, Bolton, Burlington Lakeshore, Oakville Trafalgar, Oakville West, Palgrave, D7080, D9350, and TRF. The model preschool has changed it's name to "The Learning Tree" and is now fully functional. The remaining funds are being used for final tweaks - i.e. additional signage, playground extension, extra seating, classroom mats for reading corners, establishing and maintaining a food garden and training additional teachers. Final report is expected prior to end of calendar year.
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