Monday, 5 September 2016

The Schools’ Programme 2016

As has become tradition now, the first item on the weekend of poetry is a programme for schools.
This year we decided to kick off the programme on Thursday with the McGregor Waldorf  Primary School. David Magner went down to the school and read poetry to the group of children. The children enjoyed classics like Jabberwock, The Owl and the Pussycat and The Highwayman. It was a most successful session.

Friday the 28th was the big day.We welcomed over 700 children from local schools, including Farm Schools within a 20 kilometre radius of McGregor. The children range in age from Reception Year to Grade 7, with a few Grade 8 pupils from McGregor Primary. The event this year was generously sponsored by Graham Beck Wines- a huge thank you to them! The buses rolled in soon after nine o’clock, and the children gathered outside the NGK Hall to be welcomed. They then split up into various groups to attend different sessions.

Reception Unit and Grades 1 and 2 headed into the church to enjoy a Puppet Show. The grade 3 children went to the Breede Centre where Katleen and Gwyn read them stories which Gwyn has specially written for children- including a new story written just for the day, and set in McGregor!The Grade 4 and 5 children headed off to the local library where librarian Soretha and a group of volunteers including locals Ilana, Marinda and Corle read them poetry. The grade 6, 7 and 8 pupils were treated to a show called “Ons Ko Vandaan”, presented by a Drama Group from Wellington.

To wrap up the morning, everyone assembled in the NGK McGregor for the final show. Our local Dance Stars- The Next Step Dance Company and First Step Ballet, McGregor- put on an exhilarating performance of Poetry and Dance that had the delighted audience smiling, singing and dancing. The children were provided with a small snack to finish off the morning, and they left a very happy group.
A very big vote of thanks to all the volunteers who gave so willingly of their time to assist with this programme. I could not have done it without you! And another thanks to Graham Beck for their assistance. You are just great!
This programme is, I believe, one of the most important aspects of the Poetry in McGregor Weekend. We are giving these children, who come in the main from seriously underprivileged backgrounds plagued by social problems, an opportunity to look past all of that and see that there is an opportunity to fly in this world. We want them to see the potential, and not be afraid to grasp it. And who knows? There just might be an Antjie Krog, an Ingrid Jonker, an Adam Small or James Matthews amongst them, just waiting for the chance to unfurl his or her Poetic Wings!

David Magner
Programme Co-ordinator

You can see all the pictures of this event at the following link