THANK YOU TO THE STEIN FOUNDATION. YOU ARE ALL STARS!
The principle of Thornton Primary School presented us with this letter of thanks:
Our relationship with the STEIN FOUNDATION started back in 2015 when our school received a visit from members of the foundation, including Edwin Stein, Brian Stein, Karl Stein as well as Alistair Johnson. It was clear from that very first meeting that the Stein Foundation had the best interests of all our learners at heart. They really lived by the motto: “Your child is my child!”
Over the years this relationship has developed into a prosperous partnership where the school has benefited tremendously from the generous contributions of the foundation which include sports equipment, the establishment of a breakfast club, sponsoring a well-point in our drought-stricken region as well as many more.
It also needs to be mentioned that at that very first meeting our illustrious institution of 78 years was earmarked for closure by the Western Cape Education Department as we had just over 200 learners. This would have been a sad day in the lives of many as ironically Karl Stein was once an ex-learner of our school.
It was through the tremendous efforts of the foundation and their various donations and most of all their unquestionable support that we were able to change things around. On Saturday, 24 March 2018 we were able to re-launch the school. The purpose of the re-launch was to show the greater community and the education department that we were here to stay. It was a great privilege to have members of the foundation, who flew all the way from the United Kingdom, present at this auspicious event.
Today we have close to 500 learners.
Our breakfast club, sponsored by the Stein Foundation, opened its doors at the beginning of the 2017 academic year. Every single learner is allowed to eat from the food provided at the breakfast club where two meals are served during the day. The establishment of the breakfast club had a direct impact on the academic performance of our learners as every single learner now has a meal in their body before learning starts at school.
At the end of the 2017 academic year, 92% of learners were able to progress to the next grade. Learners are also more eager to come to school now. In May 2017 we even had a Fun Day for our learners where we had various fun activities and provided meals to all present, learners as well as their family members. Recently we were able, once again through the generous donations of the foundation to buy new tables and chairs for the club as well as providing the kitchen where the meals are made with a brand new refrigerator and microwave.
It is also important to note that almost every learner entering through our gates comes from impoverished communities, such as informal settlements and townships where the crime-rate is extremely high. Unemployment, gangsterism, prostitution and substance abuse are at the order of day. Single parent households is a regular occurrence here. We also have learners from different children’s homes attending our school.
These learners come with their own challenges, which as an institution, we are glad to accommodate. More importantly to us is that it does not matter where our learners come from, what matters to us is where they end up in life. With the financial assistance of the Stein Foundation, we also recently had the honour of opening our own school library as many of our learners are too far away from one or find it extremely dangerous to visit a public library.
It does not take a rocket scientist to tell you that reading breeds intelligence.
It is definitely no mystery that the generous contributions of the Stein Foundation has helped to sustain our school. Since we have received the various sports equipment, we are now able to boast 8 different sporting codes, namely football, rugby, athletics, mini-tennis, table tennis, netball, mini-netball and the most popular of them all: chess. We also have our own choir.
On Wednesdays there are also Arts and Crafts as well as Yoga sessions for our learners. The breakfast club speaks for itself. As mentioned before, every learner has a warm meal before they enter class. The instillation of the well-point has insured that our institution always has water irrespective of the water restrictions in the Western Cape.
Renovations to the school has insured that as an institution we are physically more attractive to the community. Our school is painted in two different colours; our building has a new roof on it and all our ablution facilities have been beautifully tiled. We also possess our own computer lab. It is amazing how all these developments have impacted on the behaviour of our learners. Our teachers are now even approached by other teachers and even principals, asking them how it is possible to have such excellently behaved learners, knowing where they come from.
Our future looks extremely bright. People are taking notice of the metamorphosis that our institution has undergone. Accolades are streaming in from all sides. We, nevertheless, have 3 issues that need to be addressed. They are the acquiring of a mini-bus where our learners can be transported to-and-from matches; new fencing around the school perimeter for security purposes as well as the acquisition of our own artificial soccer pitch, as we have the land for it.
THANK YOU TO THE STEIN FOUNDATION. YOU ARE ALL STARS!
Yours in Education
Thornton Primary School