Scene 2: After School Programmes


During Village Day we met a woman named Liz who told us about an afterschool program named Camp Sonshine. In talking with Ronell, we decided it would be a good idea to visit the school and enquire more into the program. She set a meeting up for us with Principal October in order to do so.

Cast of Characters: The MGV Team, Ronell Trout, Principal October

Action and Observations:

Coming into our third week of working with the community of Maitland Garden Village, we began our day with a short tour of the temporary schooling facilities provided by the city council.  After many years of promises, a new school is finally being built for the children of MGV. Until then the children will take classes in one room containers. The containers form a small square campus where children can go out and run around during their breaks.

Walking past the students at the gate, we walked to the center of the ring of containers and were greeted by several of the children. Within a few moments, Ronell went on to introduce our team to the principal of the school, who has also been a teacher for quite some time. Principal October was very excited to meet and talk with us. As she described the containers and watched the children playing in the small campus, she told us she always tries to see the best in everything.

After a quick explanation of the current status of the educational system in Maitland Garden Village, we went into her office for an interview pertaining to the school and its after school programs. Principal October began the discussion by giving us some background on her life. She described how she was born in MGV, became a teacher, and eventually rose to be the principal of the school. She explained how in the past there had only been 6 teachers to teach all 7 grades and the difficulties that these lack of resources brought. However, looking at the positive side, she spoke of the passion and love for their jobs that pushed the teachers to better the school system. Many years later the school now employs 14 teachers, each teaching about 40 students.

Principal October told us of how she loves teaching so much that she finds herself taking on students having difficulties with various barriers such as languages. She says the best way to get through to them is to put one’s self on their level, such as working on the floor with them. With her many years within the village and among students, she has done much to uplift the children and steer them towards a better tomorrow.

After getting a bit of a history of the village’s school and future hopes of the new school projected to be finished in October, we were given a chance to inquire about the after school programs offered to the students. The principal informed us that there was an after school program run by a group known as Camp Sonshine. It is an organisation based outside of the village that was originally connected to Cape Youth Care in Pinelands that dealt with children with difficult home lives. Over time, they began a relationship with the Garden Village School. They help with academics and have various athletic programs after school.


Though there are several after school programs that have been accessible to the children of the local school, there are still few programs to reduce the rate at which children leave or skip school, where they often find themselves on the streets. With what is available to the school and the poor ratio of teachers to children, the school and Camp Sonshine provide the children with as many opportunities as they are able to.



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