School-To-School Partnerships

GLP's School-To-School Partnerships serve to create a dialogue between schools participating in our High Literacy Clusters from around the world and the USA.

Our pilot program between the South Africa and the USA has had wonderful participation from Thabisile Primary School in Soweto and Chatham Day School in New Jersey.

About Chatham Day School, New Jersey, USA

  • Chatham Day School (CDS) was established in 1998 and is is located in Chatham Township on a 15 acre, tree-lined property with four buildings able to support activities for up to 240 students.

  • CDS students represent a variety of religious, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds. Families come from communities in Essex, Morris, Somerset, and Union counties in New Jersey.
  • Chatham Day School is committed to promoting and preserving a community that embraces racial, ethnic, cultural and socioeconomic diversity.
  • CDS was attracted to the School-To-School Partnership as the required activities help to:
    • develop a better understanding of the world in which we live
    • compare and contrast the values and attitudes we carry
    • work against prejudice and xenophobia
    • provide opportunities to act as global citizens
    • encourage understanding and friendship
  • Partnerships would also help raise levels of literacy; stimulate interest in learning to speak foreign languages, and demonstrate how to learn to work towards shared goals.

Selected Activities From the Partnership

  • There are a number of teachers from a range of subjects who have begun to integrate global issues and awareness into their lessons.
    • CDS students learned about how important human rights are to the new South Africa and they were able to compare the America Bill of Rights to South Africa's charter on human rights.
  • Several classes are exchanging pen pal letters as well as "cultural packets" that describe their communities and lives to each other.
  • CDS hosted Mrs. Laura Peppetta, the literacy consultant at Thabisile, during the month of February 2008..
    • It was especially wonderful for teachers from CDS to meet a counterpart from overseas and both sides were able to share ideas on issues of mutual interest.
    • CDS students held a bake sale and other fund raisers before Mrs. Peppetta's visit in order to surprise her with a new laptop computer for Thabisile.
  • CDS held a book drive to share the books that they were reading with their new friends in Thabisile.
  • Thabisile teachers and students produced a video where they introduced CDS community to the isiZulu language, various cultural dances and even a performance of a traditional folk tale.

About Thabisile Primary School, Soweto, SA

  • Thabisile Primary School, originally known as Vulamazibuko, a Zulu word meaning extending the boundaries of education, was built during South Africa's apartheid era between 1958 and 1959.
  • Unfortunately the authorities of that period saved no records of the early years that the school existed. However, Alfred Mofolo, an African town elder remembers that the school developed in conjunction with the Diepkloof suburb of Soweto, after forced removals under the Apartheid Regime coerced thousands of black Africans from their homes in Alexandra and Sophia town to Diepkloof and Meadowlands - two of the last suburbs added to Soweto.
  • Thabisile was one of the lucky schools to survive the 1976 Soweto Uprising--the rebellion by African school children against being taught in Africaans, and the forced expansion of "Bantu" education, a substandard education reserved for Black South Africans. Today, in the new, independent South Africa, the school consists of 19 classrooms with six permanent and two temporary teachers serving 245 students including 33 orphans and 58 pre-schoolers.
  • The students at Thabisile Primary are a diverse group. They come from a variety of Zulu, Sotho, Xhosa, and Tsonga families.

Click HERE for more details of the Chatham Day School-Thabisile Partnership!