A day in the life of a Reading Gogo

Coming soon - the diary of a Reading Gogo


7 Sep 2013

This blog is managed by Karen Lloyd

14-09-13 Introduction

Hello, I have been given the opportunity of updating our Gogo's blog so thought it best to get cracking. I have never done a Blog before so please bear with me and to be honest I was a bit unsure about starting it now seeing that it is the end of term but here we go.

Where to start? Hasn't this term simply flown? The learners will be doing end of term exams this coming week so we won't be going through to the schools to do any reading. I know we will all miss not going, those beautiful smiling faces and all the hugs, they do kind of creep in to your heart don't they?

I was introduced to the Reading Gogos by Sheila Fitchet and go with her and Francis Steel and the rest of the team to Letsha Primary School; it's been a terrific experience. I'm rather chuffed with myself as I have started remembering names (which for me is always a challenge) and my pronunciation of some of them has thankfully improved. It never ceases to amaze me that even though resources at these schools are limited the kids are always positive and make do with what they have with enthusiasm and gusto. It's heart warming to see their faces fill with pride when you tell them how well they read today and that they have really improved. They love it when they take books home so that they can practice their reading - the challenge, of course is getting them to remember to bring them back......bless!

And we don't just read with them, we do arts & crafts with them sometimes too which is exhausting but so much fun. The day before National Woman's Day Sheila decided it would be fun for they kids to make cards for their teacher, mom etc. to celebrate a significant female in their lives. Sheila pulled out the paper, crayons, pencils and then the ultimate in making children's eyes light up - glitter pens! Well, for the next hour it was a chaotic blur of sticking, colouring and glittering. One of the kids asked me to draw a flower in glitter which then started a stampede as everyone else wanted flowers too. Both Sheila and I had our artistic capabilities challenged to the full and both of us had glitter in our hair, on our faces and I even had some up my nose at some point. I'm sure Sheila won't mind me sharing the case of the 'missing blue pen' with you. We were packing all the stuff away and the kids were all helping tidy up the classroom when Sheila announced that the blue pen was missing and that it had to be found before anyone could leave...... We looked high and low for this illusive blue pen. The kids really did their best to help us find it and looked under tables, on the window sills, underneath the cupboards until Sheila announced, rather sheepishly I might add, that it's ok, she found the pen. I think it was in the car on the way home that she admitted she had found the pen inside her coat pocket....busted!

Don't forget to share your stories with everyone, this is your Blog so please send me your news, experiences and photos so that they can be posted here. My email address is karenlloyd@icon.co.za. News such as birthdays, anniversaries etc. will be posted on the Facebook page so please also share that information too.

Well I'll sign off for now, chat to you all soon and have a nice break before term starts again in October.

19th Sept 2013 - Term End

Hello again.

Well it's the end of term and the learners are looking forward to a break from teachers, uniforms & exams. Hope they get to read during the holiday to keep up the pace, they all worked so hard with their reading during the term. The Gogos must enjoy the break as well and I look forward to seeing everyone in the new term.

We all know that resources at our schools are stretched to breaking point and getting new books for our libraries can be a challenge. With the onset of summer we will start seeing more jumble sales & morning markets so keep your eyes open for much needed children's books to help boost the library at your school.

Please don't forget to send me your stories and comments so that they can be included in the Blog. We would love to get your pictures as well. And don't forget to check out the Facebook page for birthday messages etc.

Have a great break


3rd October 2013

Hope all the Gogos are refreshed after the break?
Our reading duties will recommence next week so please send me your stories and pictures so we can add them here. You can email me on karenlloyd@icon.co.za or better still why not register on this page and you can write directly on to the Blog?
I promise to take pictures next week and will have more to Blog about from Thursday. Have a great week.

Daveyton Year End Concert

Please note that the concert will be on the 22nd of November and not the 29th as originally advertised. Please see message from Diedre below..........

Dear Gogo's

As you know our year end concert is on the 22nd November starting at 8.30

I am sure each class has been practicing for this event.

Grade 1 Teacher Doreen

Christine, Ann, Liz, and Mandy

Their songs are:

If you are happy and you know it,etc

Read your bible, pray every day.

Twinkle, Twinkle little star

Grade 1 Teacher Dudu

Thembi, Margie and Vera

What a wonderful world

Stand up and shout it.

Grade 1 Teacher Daphne

Joy and Cheryl

Sing a song of sixpence

Incy Wincy Spider

Grade 1


Mary's baby boy.

Shake those hands stamp those feet.



If you are happy and you know it.

Grade 2 Teacher Lindiwe


Trading my sorrows

The bible

Grade 3 4 classes

Viv, Pat, and Jane

Miss Molly had a dolly

Music Man

I know an old lady who swallowed a fly

Lion Hunt

Please correct me if I am wrong with any the songs I have put down.

We have 2 more Fridays to prepare for the concert.

Thank you for all your hard work and I am looking forward to seeing it at the concert.


Gogo Deirdre

Message From Vivienne

Dear Ladies

What a privilege it has been to attend end of the year concerts at all four
of our schools (Letsha, Katlego, Chief Luthuli and Daveyton Junior). At
every school the enthusiasm of the Gogos came through loud and clear in the
thrill and excitement shown by the children as they performed their songs.
And what praise was heaped upon the Gogos for their time and effort in
interacting with the kids.

Rightly so. Our little army IS making a difference and we have the
potential to become a great big force for
change/co-operation/friendship/patience and tolerance in our land.

In return we interact with a huge variety of people - teachers, department
heads, each other and those happy, naughty, bright eyed, noisy, smiley
faced, mischievous young people who give us such a welcome and who are so
sad when we leave. I am told that as we 'mature' in life it is very healthy
to develop new interests; go out and meet people, gain new skills. Well,
Ladies, we are certainly doing that. Watch out world, we might live

Thankyou for your dedication during the year. I hope to see you all at our
get together on Friday, 6th December, 10am at Northfield Methodist Church.
Please publicise this in your churches, clubs, local newsletters and bring
along folk who might want to learn about us. And if anyone wants to supply
a few munchies that would be nice.

I am sending this to our Co-ordinators to be forwarded to all the Gogos



A BIG Thank You to Eugene & Waltloo Plastics CC

I just had to share this with you.

The GoGos at Letsha Primary got together and decided to do something for the kids for Christmas. It was decided that we would hand out party packs made up of plastic bags (holes punched in for safety) filled with goodies such as crisps, a balloon, sweeties etc.
Obviously resources are low so I approached Waltloo Plastics CC in Silverton and explained what we were planning and asked them to give us a quote for 100 plastic bags. Eugene van Niekerk, one of the owners of Waltloo Plastics CC sent me a lovely email back saying they would gladly donate the plastic bags to us. As a result we were able to out more goodies in the bag than the anticipated sweeties so a BIG thank you to Eugene and Waltloo Plastics CC. Thanks to Kathy for preparing the thank you letter which I have copied below. It was emailed directly to Eugene along with some of the photos:

Dear Eugene


On behalf of us all, please accept this as a very sincere thank you for your kind donation of plastic bags via Karen Lloyd, which were used by the ‘Gogos’ to fill up with goodies for the children.
It is with such thoughtfulness, we are able to add a little cheer to these children who are all from disadvantaged backgrounds. Their smiles and excitement is a joy to behold!
Should you ever find yourself with some available time, please do come along and see what the ‘gogos’ are doing. We even have one male ‘Gogo’ amongst us!

Yours sincerely,

Programme Manager

Apology & Update

Hi everyone. My apologies for not blogging for a while (a long while) but things have been hectic so this had to take a back seat. However, it has settled down now so I'm hoping to do a more regular up date from this day forth.

I am still trying to upload all the pics from the year end concerts as well as the new jungle gym at Letsha but have been experiencing techno problems; this should be sorted out by tomorrow. I will post all the pictures asap.

Well, where has this year gone? It was Christmas then I blinked and it's May already. And with all the holidays and voting we haven't been at out schools much over the last month or so. Thankfully, all the holidays are behind us for a while so let's make the most of the next few months to get back in to the swing of things.

From the beginning of this year I have been assisting with the Grade 1's at Letsha and it has been one hell of an experience. I take my hat off to all Grade 1 teachers, they really do have their hands full. Especially at Letsha as the class is so big, 55 in one class. However, they can be such little darlings your heart just melts when you walk in to the classroom.

Well it's back to normal this week so I will have more to report after our school visits later in the week and will post again shortly (hopefully with the pictures as promised)

Take care all

Gallery Updated

At last! I have uploaded the pictures for the year end concerts so please visit the Gallery (go to Reading Gogos) and check out your school. A big thanks to Vivienne for providing me with the photographs from the other Daveyton schools. You can also have a look at the new jungle gym at Letsha which was kindly donated by Rotary; the kids love it. Whilst you're in the Gallery check out the other pictures as well and don't forget to send me pics from your schools so they too can be added to the gallery.



Friday Blog

Hi everyone.

Well it's the weekend again but at least we had a whole week this time and not one broken up with holidays or voting so thankfully it is now back to normal.

I'm sure we all had a productive time at our schools this week? With all the holidays it seems ages since I was last at Letsha but the warm (and loud) welcome I received from the Grade 1s made me feel really blessed.

The kids love their daily porridge, milk & cereal that is donated by Kellogs & Parmalot; for some of them it's the only decent food they get in any given day. Nestle have also started donating instant hot chocolate cups which is a huge success with the kids (who doesn't like a cup of hot chocolate on a cold winters day?) And nothing goes to waste! These impoverished schools could teach us all about the benefits if recycling, for example, the plastic tops from the Parmalot milk cartons are used as counters to help the youngsters with their sums.

Whilst I was helping some of the Grade 1s with their writing I saw how they were battling to write properly on the gnarled desks. I saw the empty cereal boxes in the corner and had a 'light bulb' moment so grabbed the scissors and cut out the fronts and backs of the cereal packets. The kids now have something smooth to put their work sheets on to help them write and draw more effectively; much cheaper than buying new desks.

Please share your tips with the rest of the team via this blog or email me on karenlloyd@icon.co.za and I will blog it for you.

Have a great weekend and hope to see you all at the AGM on 7th June



School Visit 29th May 2014

Hi everyone

Visit the Gallery to see the latest pics; click on to the 'Visits & Mobile Library' as well as the 'Reading Gogos folders and view all the pictures there. Thanks to Kathy for sending in some great pictures.

Please see the lovely message from Kathy below re this weeks school visit:

"We were honoured to have Tad Hasunuma from Sapesi and Desiree Van Niekerk from Bridgestone visit us on the 29th May to accompany us on the mobile library bus visit. We went first to Letsha where Tad and Desiree were able to see the library bus in action as well as visit the school library which is run by the Gogos. Tad was so impressed with the very simple library card system used by Letsha that he has asked for a member of his staff visit us so we can show them for implementation in some of the small libraries in the Free State.

They met and were able to see and discuss first hand the work done by the Gogos, Sheila Fitchett, Win Ahrens, Michelle Hunt and Karen Lloyd.

The District inspectors were also at the school so we were able to have a very interesting discussion with them to obtain their perspective on the challenges they face. They were absolutely thrilled with the work the mobile library is doing by bringing books and reference material to the learners and educators.

We then moved on to the next school who would not allow us access as they had the District Inspectors there!

Desiree has gone back to Bridgestone with such enthusiasm and is going to see what assistance she can give us in whatever way she can!

Thanks to Tad for his tireless work in driving his project of supplying books to South Africa through the medium of the mobile bus library!"