Highlands Primary School launched a pupil magazine with the help of the University of the Western Cape social work students, to create a culture of reading and writing.
Four second-year social work students Eleanor Slamat, Itumeleng Kheleli, Unathi Ziki and Reinhard Amos were based at the Woodlands school since the beginning of the school year, to observe, assess and facilitate programmes at the school.
In June they completed a needs assessment, after having interviewed the principal, teachers and pupils.
The students engaged with the school’s Soul Buddyz club, who wanted to start a magazine to tell their stories but wanted to include the whole school.
Ms Kheleli, from Kuils River, said they found that pupils were not reading.
“To create a culture of reading, we thought it best for the children to also write, so they could read each other’s stories,” she said.
The magazine will include drawings from the Grade 1s, poems and stories.
Ms Slamat, also from Kuils River, said they needed to ensure the magazine was sustainable, so they got a sponsor to donate the paper for the publication.
She said they would remain in contact with the school.
“We wanted to invest in the children by empowering them,” she said.
Grade 2 teacher Audrey Abdoll, Grade 2 teacher, said they want the magazine to be sustainable and for all of the pupils to be involved.
She said it was a great way to communicate with the school and for pupils to learn about various topics.
Miqa-eel Davids, member of the school’s Soul Buddyz Club, said the aim was to inform fellow pupils about various topics, including substance abuse, and to create awareness and teach life skills relating to HIV/Aids.
Maryam Hamit said she joined the editorial team because she wanted to help the school be more creative.
Magazine editor Skye Kruger said the magazine was supposed to help pupils feel good about themselves by reading good things.
Editorial team member Kauthar Samsodien said pupils should not be afraid to “put themselves out there”.