Breaking the poverty cycle through early learning and play

Breaking the poverty cycle through early learning and play

“I love LEGO® DUPLO® bricks” exclaims five-year-old Dominic as he puts together the finishing touches to his tower using only green LEGO DUPLO bricks, as requested by his teacher Lu-Anne Pieteresen.

The Kids for Success Centre is located in the city of Kimberly in the Northern Cape province of South Africa, the country’s largest (though most sparsely populated) province. It is a region where the majority of inhabitants live below the poverty line. Working with UNICEF and the Department of Education, the LEGO Foundation is supporting the efforts towards increasing the quality of early learning amongst poor children and with the vision to increase their opportunities for a good education and quality of life and to break the cycle of poverty that many children and their families are trapped in.

This center has benefitted from the generous donation by the LEGO Foundation of a large box of LEGO DUPLO bricks that are used as a teaching tool. These colorful bricks are much valued by the children and the teachers as it provides an invaluable resource that supports learning in a fun and playful manner.  It contributes to improvement in the learning for the young children.

By providing innovative learning within effective early childhood development programs, the LEGO Foundation is helping to build the foundations for a solid understanding of the basic skills essential for early learning.

The lessons are based on the Department of Basic Education’s National Curriculum Framework for children, from birth to four years old.  The activity involving using the LEGO DUPLO bricks takes place three times a week for 30 minutes at a time and the feedback from the children is encouraging. “I like the nice colors” say Jamie and Santano, almost in unison, while Dudu likes the way that “we learn numbers and how to count” during the lessons.

For Lu-Anne Pieteresen, the training provided by the LEGO Foundation was very helpful. Laughing, she explained that the “kids now think I am the best teacher ever.”

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