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Play your part on International Earth Day

Today is International Earth Day and the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly given us all pause of thought. How can we make a difference to the Earth that is our only home? What can we do to help restore her? All members of the JumpStart team strive to contribute to sustainability efforts as much as possible. For the last year the world has rushed to online communication and education. This changed our lives beyond our wildest dreams, saving many air flights and other transportation costs. Undoubtedly, a positive benefit, but did you know that online technology has an environmental impact? This Euro News article emphasises the need for a holistic approach when evaluating our environmental impact. It features the Purdue University study that estimates that one videoconferencing hour “emits between 150 and 1000 grams of carbon dioxide. It also uses up to 12 litres of water and an area of land around the size of an […]

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Innovation & resilience at home

JumpStart recognised for Nedbank Private Wealth Innovation Awards

JumpStart’s organisational resilience and innovation was recognised this week by the Nedbank Private Wealth Innovation Awards naming us one of five finalists in both categories. The awards recognise organisations that adapted to thrive in the face of difficulties, inspiring others with their response to a shock, like the COVID-19 pandemic. Among other things, the adjudicators assessed our preparedness for crises, our response to the pandemic, as well as our learnings that can benefit other organisations. Our response to the crisis CEO, Callen Hodgskiss, reflected on JumpStart’s approach: “Because our programmes takes place in the schools, we had to find a way to make home learning possible – especially as very few learners had any learning materials at home. Contacting them proved challenging! The first step was to reach out to peers and colleagues. NASCEE really helped with this. “It rapidly became clear that in hard lockdown, many learners would be difficult to reach. We shifted […]

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Opening doors with Avela Tshatshu

Future teacher, Avela Tshatshu, is determined to open doors – both for the young learners in her care and for her own career aspirations. Becoming a JumpStart tutor was a turning point that propelled her career in a direction she never previously imagined. The use of the JumpTrak app to mark and monitor the children in her classes awoke Avela’s curiosity. She wanted to learn more about apps, how they work and how they are developed and designed. She is fascinated by the JumpStart robotics and coding programmes that are being taught at intermediate phase in some schools. A fire has been lit inside Avela and her thirst for knowledge burns brightly. This talented youth tutor is passionate about teaching maths, consistent in her approach and brings compassion to the classes she teaches. Based at Isaac Mhlambi Primary School in Sasolburg, her primary focus is on the Grade 3 learners, but she works with earlier […]

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Recycle old Android Phones

Podcast: Maths matters to Refiloe Mpakanyane at 702

At the crack of dawn, on Sunday, 24 February 2021, the JumpStart WhatsApp groups were abuzz with excitement. Radio 702‘s Weekend Breakfast show host, Refiloe Mpakanyane, had invited our General Manager, Callen Hodgskiss, to talk about JumpStart’s maths education and youth employment projects on air. Tutors listened in from around the province, and friends of JumpStart tuned in from as far afield as Melbourne. History The discussion kicked off with a brief history of our origins. We responded to the need for more skilled matriculants to enter the ICT sector. Steve Mahoney of JumpCo Digital realised that a maths education intervention was needed, so JumpStart was born. He chose to focus on the base of the educational pyramid, starting at Grade One. JumpStart began as a programme supporting teachers with up to 60 learners in their care in under-resourced classrooms. We trained unemployed matriculants, like Dimakatso Skabata, who teach basics mathematics using paper workbooks and […]

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JumpStart’s team talks about a year of lockdown

Way back when… in January 2020, before we all wore masks and sanitised our hands into old age, our team welcomed the interns to the year that had just kicked off! We even wrote a blog post about the day – Terrific 20-somethings learn and hope! A few short weeks later, education as we knew it changed. Nobody could foretell how drastically our lives would be impacted. Every facet of life transformed overnight. Almost a year on, the JumpStart team reflects on how we shifted gear, how we helped children to continue learning maths, how we brought in their parents via digital platforms, and how we plan to keep going and improving! Jabu Thomo    Our programme director, Jabu, reflects on the systems we had in place that helped us implement a contingency plan. “First we allowed the learners to use their NumberSense workbooks at home, and created Whatsapp groups and group SMS’s to support […]

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