Across Solomon Islands, more than half of all children do not engage in early education. Reach & Match partnered with Save the Children to address this issue directly by bringing early education to some of the most isolated communities in the world by training teachers in inclusive play-based learning practices, providing education resources and encouraging parents to participate in their children’s learning.
The program included an innovative sensory Reach & Match that empowers children with special needs and facilitates an inclusive play-based learning environment. The program included a range of different activities that utilise the Reach & Match to meet 7 different learning outcomes including language enrichment and sensory integration. Save the Children and Red Cross participated in the training on the Reach & Match Inclusive Learning program.
This training was provided in preparation for the implementation of the learning kits at Red Cross Special Development Centre (SDC) and in selected Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres in Malaita, Choiseul, Guadalcanal and Western provinces as part of Save the Children’s Play to be School Ready ECD project funded by the Australian Government.
Deputy Secretary General, Clement Manuri, who got involved in one of the training sessions was optimistic about the application of the learning kit at the centre. SDC ECE teachers remarked that the kit is very inclusive for children with various special needs.
Designed and integrated Reach & Match program into the curriculum of Special Development Centres.
Trained educators at Red Cross and Save the Children to be self-sufficient in teaching the program to peers and students.
Children had increased engagement in the classroom.
“The learning outcomes can help us to develop new creative activities for children to develop their learning abilities. The next two days were spent at the SDC with participants conducting activities with parents and children. Parents were fully engaged with their children in a playtime experience with jumping, hopping, shaking the shapes and making tunes from the sounds of the shapes. In a short speech, one of the dads said, “I feel so, so happy.”
Mrs Lealyn Vunagi – ECE teacher, Special Development Centre
“When the Reach & Match kit was trialled with children, the design provided so many opportunities for all children to be engaged in games and activities. Children who have a visual impairment participated fully in alphabet games alongside sighted children due to each tile having the Braille component. Another young child who could not walk was the group leader. He confidently placed shapes into their correct place as his teammates ran towards him as part of the shuttle relay race. The children have had an incredible time and will no doubt benefit enormously from the Reach & Match toolkit going forward,”
Jason Ross – Save the Children