For more than ten years, the Woolworths Making the Difference learning programme has engaged with over 3000 schools to increase their access to curriculum-aligned educational content and learning experiences around healthy nutrition, physical activity and sustainable living. 

It has been a pivotal way that Woolworths has contributed to the upliftment of education in South Africa and shared its expertise directly with school communities. 

Pieter Twine, General Manager of the Woolworths Making a Difference programme says, “The past two years of global pandemic have highlighted how important digital tech is to keep us connected and ensure continuity in school and work. 

“The world has seen a phenomenal uptake of digital tools and platforms. This has presented the ideal opportunity for Woolworths to digitise our entire programme, enhance it and present it on a platform with both desktop and mobile accessibility, and supportive social media channels. 

“Now all schools, educators, learners and parents throughout South Africa can benefit from the Woolworths Making a Difference programme.” 

The launch of the Woolworths Making the Difference programme’s digital platform showcases the centrepiece of the initiative which is a suite of curriculum-based theoretical resources for Grades 4, 5 and 6 on nutrition, physical activity, water conservation, sustainable living, ecosystems and food webs, and regenerative agriculture topics. 

Educators use these resources for classroom lessons and project activities in the relevant Life Orientation, Social Sciences and Natural Sciences & Technology subject areas. During the COVID-19 lockdowns of 2020, these resources were swiftly digitised and made available to all South African schools along with live and pre-recorded online teacher support sessions. 

It’s been a natural next step to develop this into a full-circle digital platform that can expand the offering to include new features for parents and learners. 

The new Woolworths Making the Difference programme’s digital platform engages learners directly with fun learning experiences through Woolworths Classmates – a series of virtual experiences and interactive online learning sessions. 

The aim would be to further expand on these virtual experiences by offering virtual tours of farms and production facilities. There’s a variety of downloadable educational and project resources including learner booklets, posters, activity sheets, homework guides, exercise programmes and sustainable living tips. 

Parents are an integral part of the circle, and they can easily access homework tips, how to tutorials for the entire family, holiday activities, online talks, healthy living tips, healthy recipe cards, family exercise programmes, sustainable living guidelines and Woolworths back-to-school offers. 

The resources for educators have been expanded to include video lessons, teacher’s tutorials, resource guides, leadership seminar workshops, competitions, exercise programmes and sustainable living guidelines. 

The new platform will also serve as the host and co-ordinator for various school community-focused activities, campaigns and celebrations, such as the annual World Teachers Day and various local environmental events. School leaders, teachers, parents and learners can all access the platform via both desktop and mobile apps. 

Twine concludes, “The launch of the new digital platform is substantially growing the Making the Difference programme in both reach and resources, which is very exciting. 

“Our contribution to education in South Africa has always been strategic with our educational upliftment aligned to the Woolworths Good Business Journey, our vision and our purpose as a company. 

“We look forward to the abundance of opportunities that our full circle digital platform provides for us to meaningfully share our expertise in healthy living, care for the environment and sustainability with school communities across South Africa.”

To access the platform go to: https://mtd.woolworths.co.za/.