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Bloodhound connects schools in SA, UK

The Bloodhound SSC project is connecting pupils from the UK – where the supersonic car is being built – and the outlying areas of the Northern Cape in South Africa, with the donation of hundreds of books being sent to the Northern Cape.

Pupils from Avon Primary School, located close to the Bloodhound Technical Centre and situated in the South West of England, recently took it upon themselves to donate their library books to schools in the Northern Cape, where basic education tools like reference and research books often are luxury items.

According to Dave Rowley, education director for the Bloodhound Education Programme in South Africa, pupils from Avon Primary recently attended the official opening of the new Bloodhound SSC assembly site, and after doing some research on the Northern Cape, decided they wanted to share their books with South African schools. Their research has now turned into a whole school project, not only about the car but also South Africa and especially Hakskeenpan.

After being shipped, free of charge by All World Freight, the international cargo forwarding company, the ten big boxes of books were delivered to the schools on Wednesday, 25 February to the Loubos, Groot Mier, Philandersbron, Riemvasmaak, Welkom primary schools, where they were warmly welcomed.

“The books will come in extremely handy when the children need to do assignments,”” said Marina du Plessis, acting headmistress of the Loubos Primary School, which has 138 pupils from grade 0 to 7.

“”The children’s parents don’t have internet, so they desperately need books to do research.””

Margaret Beukes, headmistress of Philandersbron Primary School – situated only 10 km from Hakskeenpan where Bloodhound SSC will attempt breaking the current record in 2015 and aiming for the 1000mph (1 609km/h) mark in 2016, said: “”It will help a lot to improve the children’s English and the teachers would also be able to use them””.

With a box of books being delivered to each school by the Bloodhound SSC education team in South Africa, including new Bloodhound SSC Ambassador in the Northern Cape, Father Aloysius, pupils failed to contain their excitement. At Welkom Primary, children quickly selected their favourite book.

“”Dis my boek daai! (That book is mine!),”” 14-year-old Pauly Saulse told his friend Malcolm van Wyk (11), the moment he laid his eyes on a book about aircraft and flight.

Pauly, whose best subject is mathematics, wants to become a teacher, while Malcolm, one of his school’s promising centres, would like to become a professional rugby player.

Sara Murphy, principal of the Groot Mier Primary School quickly had her pupils learning out of a book about sounds, creating groups of children and, playing conductor, quickly improvised a music lesson with children using their bodies and instruments like kitchen forks to make sounds.

“”Avon Primary pupils decided to donate some of their library books after hearing about the schools in Mier Municipality at the opening of the new Bloodhound Technical Centre. They are hoping this will be the start of a relationship between the school and the Northern Cape schools but are very jealous that they will be unable to stand on Hakskeenpan like their new friends but will have to make do with HD television coverage! “” said Rowley.

“”These wonderful books will enable me to help learners improve their English skills at the same time as they are being excited by the Bloodhound Project”” said Father Aloysius who has recently joined the Bloodhound education programme and is based in Keimoes, plus the master of many languages.

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