Elemental Kids is a project of The Idea Processor focusing on the development and provision of innovative, experiential programmes for children between the ages of 6 and 11 years. It has been operating since the beginning of 2010, consistently providing children with engaging holiday events based on the four elements – earth, fire, water and air.
Each holiday event lasts for 5 days, running from Monday to Friday. The days begin at 9:00am and end at 4:00pm, apart from Friday when it ends at 3:00pm. Usually there is some form of shared group project which begins on Monday and concludes by Friday. Some of the past projects have included:
· Making stop frame animation films (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXarRGARft5dkiKcEz4OpnQ)
· Creating fire sculptures and having a mini Africa burns for kids
· Making skateboards from scratch
· Building forts based on stories
· Designing and holding a harvest festival to celebrate food
· Making a documentary about “Blue Gold”
· Building rafts from recycled materials and holding a sailing regatta
· Making kites and having a kite festival
· Creating a musical symphony
Some defining features of our holiday events are that they are fun, experiential, involve participants in active, exploratory play and result in tangible outcomes. Children are encouraged to develop their ideas from just a thought into something concrete, giving them a sense of achievement and success. The objective is to support and nurture their self esteem in the process. We encourage group engagement and collaboration as well; supporting children to develop their relationships and ability to community with their peers.
The Observatory Neighbourhood Afterschool (ONA) Project is a neighbourhood based afterschool activity space for children living in the area. ONA is a collaborative project of Elemental Kids, the Methodist Church of Southern Africa and Theatre Arts Admin Collective (TAAC). It was initiated in 2013 and officially opened its doors to children at the beginning of 2014. It currently offers activities 3 days a week to children in the neighbourhood. Around 12 to 15 children participate in these classes on a daily basis and there is pool of over 30 children that are involved. Tahirih Michot has played an active role in the conceptualisation and implementation of the project as a resident and through Elemental Kids.
Afterschool Programme for Primary Schools (APPS)
Tahirih Michot was asked to develop a programme concept for an expanded afterschool programme at Siyazakha Primary School in Philippi for the South African Education and Environment Project (SAEP). The purpose of the afterschool programme was to meet the needs of the primary school and complement the existing range of educational support programmes currently offered by SAEP. SAEP wanted to be able to offer programmes that supported children from the “cradle to career”. A primary school focus was identified as an existing gap in the organizational offerings. A concept for the afterschool programme was developed in response to research at the end of 2014 and piloted by SAEP in 2015 at Siyazakha Primary School.
Arts Outreach Programme Impact Assessment
Tahirih Michot designed and conducted an extended external assessment of the impact that the SAEP’s Arts Outreach programme is having on programme participants. This has been the first external impact assessment to be conducted on the programme since its inception in 2007.
There were five key phases in the evaluation process:
· Step 1: Development of Assessment criteria and tools
· Step 2: Establishing an Assessment Context
· Step 3: Mid-year check in
· Step 4: End of year check in
· Step 5: Integration and synthesis
The external impact assessment was conducted over an 8 month period of time (May to November, 2013). It made use of a collaborative and interactive process that involved SAEP staff, tutors and programme participants in a series of workshops, interviews, focus groups and observations.