Then there was (LED) Light

Sea Vista Primary School learners throwing some light on the subject

In 2009 at the launch of the Children’s edition of ‘The Long Walk to Freedom’ at the READ (Read, Educate And Develop) Trust in Ormonde, Johannesburg, Nelson Mandela’s  granddaughter Ziyande, eight years old at the time, was asked by her famous grandfather to read a message to those assembled.

“Our granddad believes that education and reading are two of the most important things for children. He has asked me to read you this message: ‘Our children are our greatest treasure. They are our future. The system of apartheid robbed many children of their right to a decent education and of the joy of reading. This joy is one that I have treasured all my life, and it is one I wish for all South Africans.

“‘We are happy that all children are now able to read, in the language of their choice, the story of the long road we travelled for freedom in South Africa. The children of South Africa need to know this history. Everyone should try to read for at least an hour every day. Parents can read to their children and older children can read for themselves.’”

Many children are compromised in their efforts for without light to read by, particularly in the winter months how can anyone be motivated into doing under candlelight?

St Francis Links residents Chris and Di Kelway recently contacted St Francis Today to attend a function at Sea Vista Primary School to witness their Light to Read Project. Not too sure what it was all about we arrived as Jeff Clause was sort of playing Santa again even though he wasn’t wearing the mandatory red suit. The St Francis Links combi had arrived with literally hundreds of brown paper bags packed with goodies supplied by First Choice, Spar and St Francis Links who also packed the some 600 packets.

The occasion was the handing out of almost 600 Solar Panel Lights as part of Chris and Di’s  ‘Light to Read’ project where every child was given a solar light panel.

Said Chris

We launched, in 2016, a Light to Read Project, whereby we provide every Learner in a low to no income environment a solar light.  Every learner is permitted to take the solar light home and allows them to read and do homework after dark. We have already influenced 3000 learners in Gauteng and KZN and wanted to pick a School in the Eastern Cape.. hence Sea Vista Primary and we concluded that this was a good fit considering my relationship with St Francis. 

We tracked improvements with the Learners and some very quick wins were as follows:

Homework completion rate improved from 20% to 65% within a matter of weeks and literacy improvement for the Learners had improved over 400% in a 6 month period.

For a Learner with limited energy source at home, this is an incredible benefit as the Learner can use a proper source of light to read and learn after darkness descends.

The School owns the solar right and the Learner is able to utilise the solar light at home, based on a continued code  of good conduct.

Normally we would also donate a reading book to each Learner, but with the Rotary Club of St Francis Bay driving the Sea Vista Community Library Centre, the School will link our Solar Light to Read program with the Library Project.

The funds raised for the Light to Read program come from individual and private company donations and the program has no involvement from anyone in the Department of Education or Government. It is aimed at the Primary School Learner to provide this Light To Read assistance at as early an age as possible.”

Should you wish be part of the Light to Read Project Light to Read Project Pledge Form.

Di Kelway handing out food packs filled with a hot dog, a fruit, a, milk all thanks to First Choice, Spar and St Francis Links

Jeff Clause, Chris Kelway and Sea Vista Primary School Principal Charles Coenraad.


Quote from Nelson Mandela Foundation – Nelson Mandela urges-children to read

Young Diabetic Learner an Inspiration

St Francis College Salutes Young Diabetic Learner on World Diabetes Day:

Having fun on Crazy Hair day, Nathan with his school mate Lisenathi Mannie

In 2018, World Diabetes Day falls on Wednesday 14th November. The purpose of this one day is to raise awareness of a condition that millions of people all around the world live with every day.

St Francis College Grade 7 learner, Nathan Hendricks, knows all too well about this condition. He was diagnosed as a Type 1 Diabetic at just 8 months old and has been on an insulin pump since the age of 1.

Doing his bit to raise awareness on this day, Nathan delivered a power point presentation to his fellow learners at the College on Diabetes and how this has affected his life. He then handed out blue ribbons which symbolize Diabetes awareness to all the children at the school to wear.

As though the diabetes challenge is not enough to contend with, Nathan also suffers from a condition known as Sarsgaard Macular Degeneration which has left him visually impaired. Despite this, the young man’s determination to succeed seems to hold few boundaries. Nathan, who is a strong swimmer, recently took part in the Marina Martinique 3km Open Water swim for the second time. When he took part the first time he struggled to see where he was going and so kept turning in the wrong direction. Not to be defeated, on his second attempt Nathan swam the full course being kept on track by his “eyes” for the race, Jeffreys Bay life saver Etienne van Gent who paddled alongside him the whole way

His father Darryl fills with pride as he describes his son’s astonishing attitude to life. “One could understand if Nathan begrudged his handicaps, but he holds no bitterness and bears no malice. He simply embraces life to the full and never steps away from a challenge. For example, Nathan is an enthusiastic cricketer – he bowls and manages to take wickets even though he can only partially see his target. He is also the top chess player in the College which is amazing when you consider he is playing partially blindfolded.”

In the classroom Nathan loves mathematics, although reading presents yet another challenge for him. “We’ve overcome this by making sure he has plenty of reading aids, magnifiers and an I-Pad,” explains Darryl. 

Nathan has almost completed his time at St Francis College and is looking forward to starting at the Global Leadership Academy in Jeffreys Bay next year. 

“We are very proud of Nathan and are privileged to have him at our school. His parents have always given him and the school so much support and they are to be commended for raising such a wonderful young man,” said acting Head, Caroline Anderson. “On behalf of the St Francis College staff, I wish him all the best for his next chapter.”

Life Saver and Nathan’s “Eyes” Etienne van Gent with Nathan Hendricks

Press release supplied by Lyn Aitken


Kids Kove to Operate From College

There has been some exciting new developments with with regard to Kids Kove this year – they have an agreement with St Francis College, and they will now be operating at the College these coming   school holidays.

Commenting on the good news, Kids Kove’s Shelagh said “Kids Kove is a private holiday club that will run from St Francis College during the school holidays. We offer a fun filled holiday activity programme for local kids as well as for kids visiting St Francis Bay this holiday! Join us for arts and crafts activities, water slides, jumping castles, pizza making, and more! Our aim is to create a fun and engaging atmosphere where children can relax and play within a safe and friendly environment.”

College News


The College are trying out the concept of Golden Time in the foundation phase over the next 4 weeks. So once a week the 4 classes are split into cross grade groups (0 to 4) and they explore an activity within the creativity and tech hub. The activities can be anything from gardening and outdoor cooking to design and science experiments.
Here the kids from Grade 0 to 3 are doing multi grade groups in coding – Daisy Leith and Katie Joubert had so much fun!


The Nursery School children had an exciting morning recently when the Fire Department came to visit with their truck and all their equipment to show the children how they fight fires. But best of all was being allowed to explore the truck. Little Max Havemann got the feel what it might be like to drive the truck.



School Athletics

The St Francis College’s annual Inter-House Athletics competition is always a highlight for the learners! First on the day were Mussel Cracker House followed by Yellowtail (second) and Red Roman (third). The three houses competed in track events over 50m, 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m and in relay.

The Grade 4’s Life Skills Lesson had them trying their best to sew on buttons and stitch material. Some learners needed a little more practice than others but they all got the job done in the end! Seen here Gian Moolman making his way through the task.

The Grade 7’s sold up a storm during their Entrepreneur’s Day event. Stalls selling everything from the most delicious sweet treats and drinks to fun stalls offering pillow fights, face painting and wet sponge throwing did a brisk trade. Some of the more philanthropic learners opted to sell items such as second hand books with the proceeds going to the SPCA. And some were so inspired by their success that they are keen to regularly market their top-sellers at the local morning market! Seen here Samara Howell (l) and Amy Robson (r) with their delicious eats on display. 10% of the proceeds from their stall went to the SPCA.

St Francis College Girls put Icing on the Cake

Icing on the Cake

The senior girls (Grade 4-7) made plastic icing decorations at Girls Club.

They are making these decorations to put on top of the cupcakes that will be baked this week and which will be donated to the Cupcakes 4 Kids with Cancer fundraiser, being held on 29th September at Fountains Mall. The plan is to donate 100 cupcakes. A great project! Lily Joubert and Kate Robson are seen here with their creations.

Funky Hair Day

Friday 21st September was Funky Hair Day at St Francis College. The children pay R5.00 each to get to wear their hair in any crazy style they like with their  teachers leading the way. Seen here getting into the spirit are Mrs Kym Clephane (Grade 0), Mr Ralton Fortuin (Sports Coach) and Mrs Lyn Webb (Grade 1). The funds raised go toward the annual Grade 6 Garden Route Tour.