Partnering with public schools in South Africa

As many of you know, in November of last year we launched A New Chapter fundraising campaign with the aim to work in 20 locations, and reach 4,500 students every week by the end of 2022. 

One of our approaches to help us achieve this goal is partnering with public schools in the locations around the world where we work. By partnering with local schools we meet children in spaces that they are already in, providing programming that supplements school curricula. By meeting children where they are, we can provide opportunities to hundreds of more children and we don't have to rely on running programs from a Skateistan Skate School. 

Last year we started a trial of an after school program in Atlantis, an underserved community in the Western Cape, South Africa. We ran a mix of Skateistan’s signature programs in our work with a new community of students, offering Dropping In and Skate and Create two times a week. Students who had never participated in skateboarding before started to learn that the lessons you learn inside the skatepark can be translated into their lives outside of it.

Skateistan programs will continue to run in Atlantis, and due to the successes that we learned there, we’ve partnered with two new public schools to deliver Skateistan programs directly after school in South Africa. 

In Kensington, a small suburb located in Johannesburg, over 100 students now join our Dropping In and Youth Leadership programs at the local high school twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This high school in particular struggles with access to sporting opportunities as well as programs that can assist students with challenges they experience at home. 

And that’s where we come in! In the Dropping In program, students participate in homework assistance and skateboarding sessions with their coaches. In the Youth Leadership programs, students will learn life skills and career and education planning direction. In these lessons, students develop their confidence in a supportive environment and address challenges related to future planning. 

All over the world, our programs look a little bit different because the needs of the local communities are different. We can tailor our programs to make sure we’re meeting the needs of our students in their communities, wherever they are. 

We’re also working with another public school in Tembisa, South Africa. Tembisa is arguably South Africa’s second largest township and is approximately 40km from Johannesburg, where 39% of the population has completed high school and only 7.5% have an education beyond high school. 

Skate and Create students in Tembisa.

The students we’re working with have access to psychosocial support through caregivers, community youth care workers and social workers at the school. But the school’s main challenge was an after school sports and arts program and through our partnership, the school has been able to fill that gap. 

We are running Skate and Create programs there and students learn from a curriculum that focuses on developing a global perspective through local actions in communities. Skateistan’s educators and coaches guide activities to promote wellness, equality, creative expression and knowledge of natural sciences. The team is currently working on lesson plans around ‘Natural Balance’ as part of the Q2 curriculum. Programs run 4 days a week (Monday to Thursday) at the school, where up to 700 students join our programs every week.

If you want to support Skateistan’s activities in new communities and help make a big impact in the lives of our students, support Skateistan today.