Press Release: Penreach Play Day 2019

Press Release: Penreach Play Day 2019

Penreach Play Day 2019

Mbombela – “Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.”- Fred Rogers. Penreach experiences the transformative power of play for young children on a daily basis, in pre-schools and homes across the region. But once a year, we celebrate the power of play on World Play Day by bringing together thousands of 4-year olds at Mbombela Stadium, and playing our hearts out the whole day.

Studies by the Department of Social Development have revealed that approximately 59.2% of children between the ages of 0 to 6 years old live in the circumstances of dire poverty, where play is non-existent. As part of its advocacy work around the importance of play, Penreach introduced Play Day to partner ECD centres in Mpumalanga in 2014. Since 2015, this event has been proudly hosted at Mbombela Stadium, enabling us to keep growing.

On 5 June, 128 Penreach early childhood development centres attended this fun day on the main playing pitch of the stadium, in the splendid winter sun, bringing along with them, 339 practitioners and parents and a tremendous 3015 excited young children.

Apart from the advocacy focus, the annual Play Day was also derived as a project to offer 3 to 4-year-olds, opportunities to explore new ways of learning through play and to expose ECD practitioners and parents to new ideas and games.

This year the day presented an incredible 50 play areas offering new ways to use active play for physical, emotional, cognitive and social development of young children.  Games were carefully designed and selected to ensure that they were able to be recreated back at the ECD centres or within the homes of the children.

An enthusiastic 10 local businesses, Penreach ECD partners; Nal’ibali, Ntataise and Cotlands, and more than 20 Youth Employment Service Volunteers came on board and joined the Penreach Call to Play. All the sponsors involved with this amazing initiative brought energy and passion to the day in special and creative ways.

“We are glad to see an increasing number of local partners understanding and supporting the power of play to transform early learning. We encourage anyone that wants to make a big impact on a community to talk to us about play-based interventions, ” says Penreach COO, Susanna Oosthuizen.

Penreach Play Day is about connecting within our communities; it’s about smiles and laughter for one and all. The event was an overall success for Penreach – ECD practitioners were exposed to creative and innovative ways of enriching the play experience of children at their ECD centres and children experienced the joy of playing together.

Thank you to all our sponsors, partners, volunteers, participants, parent, practitioners, and staff who made the Penreach Play Day 2019 a resounding success. Some highlights of the day here: