Twenty children from the Western Cape have become published authors after their books were chosen as the best from the Growsmart programme.
The Growsmart programme is a leading education initiative by Growthpoint, in collaboration with the Western Cape and Eastern Cape Departments of Education, aimed at boosting the literacy, numeracy and science performance of primary school children.
“The children’s writing skills were visibly improved compared with last year’s levels, a clear sign of better teacher involvement. A big thank you to all the young writers for sharing their carefully written tales with us, and to their teachers for guiding these young talents on their writing journeys.
“We also extend our sincere appreciation to the dedicated markers as well as BDO Auditors for auditing the marking process,” said Jewel Harris who heads the Growsmart initiative for Growthpoint.
Growsmart said the story writing competition was presented for the fourth year running in the Western Cape, where 247 books were submitted from 160 schools. Each school that took part had to choose new writers to represent their school, allowing more opportunities for all the learners.
The story writing competition was introduced for the first time in the Eastern Cape this year, where 144 books were entered by the province’s 60 participating Growsmart schools.
The children could choose their own topic for their story but were also given 19 topic suggestions as inspiration.
The storybooks were judged according to criteria set by the education departments, based on the CAPS policy for the Intermediate Phase. Each story had to be at least 300 words for Grade 4s, 400 words for Grade 5s and 500 words for Grade 6s.
Shawn Theunissen, head of corporate social responsibility at Growthpoint Properties, said: “Growthpoint is a major property investor in both provinces where Growsmart is offered and the Growsmart education initiative is another way that we invest in these communities. We are pleased, through Growsmart and its partners, to help give primary school learners access to quality education and we are humbled to share their remarkable stories.”
This year, all top 20 books were written by children from the Western Cape schools. Because this was the Eastern Cape’s first year of participation, it was an introductory learning year for the teachers who mentored the children’s book writing project.