WATCH: Santa surprises Parkwood kids

Published Dec 13, 2023


Santa was rather surprised when most of the children from I Can Academy in Parkwood opted to have their meal handed out first, over the many presents he and his elves had brought for them.

On Tuesday, the Pick n Pay asap team, under the guise of delivering educational materials, surprised I Can Academy staff, children and former school teacher, Alletta Frans, with a generous Christmas party.

The twenty-five excited four to six year old children received treats and gifts from Santa who arrived with an entourage of Pick n Pay asap scooters. In addition, Frans, who is a widow and mother of seven, was given a cheque for R50,000 for upgrades to the facility.

For the first three years, from 2015, the humble school started out on the field which is across the street from where it currently is, which is also Alletta’s home. It has been servicing the underprivileged community of Parkwood for seven years in total, with more than seventy children being fed and educated daily.

Inside, the school consists of a couple of small wooden and iron rooms and a narrow passage.

In Frans’ two square metre office, the sky is visible through holes in the corrugated iron roof.

Mats camouflage the sandy floor in the passage, which is decorated with educational posters on the walls. The well organised library is around four square meters and is key to Frans’ aim, which is to teach children to read with understanding.

I Can Academy is a “no fees school” and the only requirement to attend is a juice and a roll of toilet paper every week.

Frans is an advocate for change in her community. She believes that gangsterism and other social ills can be addressed with sport. Her hope is to introduce swimming lessons, cricket, rugby, baseball and table tennis to her students some day.

Aletta Frans puts the needs of the children and her community above her own. Picture: Tracey Adams / IOL News

Pick n Pay Chief Marketing officer, Andrew Mills said they wanted to extend their current campaign which they call, “Father Freshmas,” to assist Frans with the service she provides to the community.

The “Father Freshmas” campaign allows customers who use the Pick n Pay asap app to order their groceries to get something back. These prizes typically include kickbacks of around R35 and even as much as R10,000 back on their orders.