Erin has been part of the 1st Horison Scout Troop since she was 12 years old, and is currently busy working towards her Springbok Award (which is the highest Scout award). She explained, “As part of this advancement, I am required to complete 40 hours of community service. After a lot of thought, I decided that I wanted to do something more permanent, and that is why I approached Michelle from the Rant-en-Dal School for Autism.”
She added that, because she knew that the school does not receive a lot of funding from the government, she wanted to do something for them that they would not have to pay for, as well as help them. “I knew they would appreciate the gesture,” she said.
Erin received help from quite a few role-players, who helped her build special educational toys for the children, and the Deutsche Schule in Pretoria donated wooden cars, which Erin repainted. “We also made a texture square where the learners can play and get used to different textures, including sand, rope, wood and PVC pipes. Because children with autism do not like new textures, this square will help them get accustomed to the different feels,” said Erin.
Michelle van Zyl, the school’s principal, said, “We are dependent on community involvement, and are very grateful for the help received from Erin and the troop. Toys are a luxury at our school, and this donation is much appreciated. Autistic children do not know how to play and interact with each other, and the teachers at the school have to teach them how to do it, and these toys will definitely help us a lot. We also encourage the community to get involved with the school.”
She concluded by saying, “This is definitely one of the best projects that I have seen done for our school.”
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