Woolworths has significantly expanded the reach and scope of its innovative Making the Difference (MTD) educational programme with the launch of a dedicated website www.makingthedifference.co.za/primary. Grade Four teachers, parents and learners across the country can now freely access the programme’s high quality educational resources, as well as a wealth of extra content focused on good nutrition, healthy lifestyle and sustainable living. Since 2004 the Woolworths MTD educational programme, which works closely with the Department of Education, has effectively supported the upliftment of education in South African schools. To date, the programme has produced and distributed thousands of curriculum-based educator resource packs, which were developed in consultation with the Department of Education. They comprise of nine colourful modules, packed with classroom and project activities, worksheets, posters and flashcards. These enable teachers to easily integrate the latest expertise on healthy eating, physical exercise and care for the environment, as well as help them deliver inspired learning to children. The nine Woolworths MTD Grade Four educator modules are now available at www.makingthedifference.co.za/primary for free download by every primary school in the country. “It is vital for us to harness the power of internet technology,” comments Penny Luthi, brand manager for the Woolworths MTD educational programme. “The MTD educational programme website gives all South African schools the opportunity to access the latest information and expertise so that motivated teachers can easily enhance teaching and learning in their classrooms,” says Luthi. “In addition, we believe it is vital to engage parents in their efforts to encourage and enable South African children to eat well, enjoy exercise and play a role in caring for our country’s unique and wonderful environment. The website is a connection point for the whole school community with exciting, meaningful and interactive content for parents, teachers and learners.” Over the years, the Woolworths MTD educational programme has also engaged Grade four parents in popular Parent Talks hosted by registered dieticians at participating schools. Building on this, features on the website such as ‘Healthy Lunchbox Ideas’ and ‘Lighten Your Load Recipes’ make it easier for more parents to understand and offer their children healthier food choices. Family-oriented news, book reviews and regular expert dietician advice columns provide parents with easy to access to expert advice, great ideas and practical ways to improve family well-being. Catering for its younger audience, the website gives children access to ‘kids-safe’ recipes, a wealth of easy-to-read snippets on healthy living, as well as an opportunity to enter competitions online. The website provides them with entertaining insights as to how their peers are making great food choices, enjoying physical activity and helping to make South Africa a more sustainable country. For teachers specifically, the website offers new and exciting classroom and project activities, which are regularly updated. In addition, the website’s archives are full of ideas on how to uplift teaching and learning. “Woolworths greatly respects the role that teachers play in learners’ lives,” comments Luthi. “We are also aware that many great teachers are frustrated by a lack of access to educational resources. Through the website we can help them access quality materials, innovative ideas, keep abreast of relevant news and views and plan educational outings.” A sister website www.makingthedifference.co.za/high has also been launched to expand the growing Woolworths Making The Difference Through Design (MTDTD) programme, which targets Grade 10, 11 and 12 Art and Design students, parents and teachers. For the first time the innovative Making the Difference Through Design Daily resource manual is available to download for free from the website. It also acts as an electronic platform for the facilitation, registration and dissemination of information about the annual MTDTD competition. ENDS