Helping Hand has done a survey among more than 200 schools that received bags in 2015. The purpose of the survey was to ensure that the schoolbag remains relevant to address the challenges Grade Ones have to deal with. It became clear that perceptual and motor skills two of the biggest problem areas that cause learning problems and dysfunction among Grade Ones. To help the motor skills, Helping Hand provides Unifix blocks and included a puzzle. In addition, children's perceptual skills improve by writing on the writing tablet (also included in the bag).
Helping Hand seeks a good quality bag (it must be able to keep five years) to provide educational content of high quality to Grade Ones. The contents of the school bags include the following: Crayons, a colouring book, a puzzle, coloring pencils, grey pencils, a ruler, a pencil sharpener, scissors, a rubber, glue, pencil cases and a whiteboard with pens. The value of the bag and its contents is about R356.
WHAT IS THE SCHOOLBAG PROJECT?
Due to ever increasing economic pressure, parents are finding it difficult to make ends meet and many struggle to buy basic school supplies or pay school fees. As a result, many Grade Ones have to start their first school year without the necessary school supplies.
In 2007 Helping Hand started the mammoth task of providing Afrikaans Grade Ones with a school bag filled with basic stationery, therefore enabling these learners to kick-off their school year on the same footing as their fellow pupils.
At this stage, almost 5 000 pupils are benefiting from the project on an annual basis and since its inception, the project has provided more than 21 000 bags to Grade Ones all over South Africa.
What does the schoolbag contain? Each bag contains retractable crayons, wax crayons, a colouring book, skipping rope, clay, colouring pens, grey pencils, a ruler, a sharpener, an eraser, scissors, a pen holder, a white board with markers, a tennis ball as well as an Afrikaans story book with an app featuring augmented reality.