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South Africa: Zwaanswyk Academy Learners Spell their Way to Success
Source: SA - the Good News
Source Date: Thursday, November 14, 2013
Country: South Africa
Created: Nov 14, 2013

In addition to this, all eight semi-final schools – comprising the fifteen finalists and nine semi finalists - will also be given the chance to apply to be enrolled into the SAILI Programme. SAILI identifies, develops and supports talent in learners, linking them with quality schools and ensuring that learners have a fair chance at fulfilling their potential.
Launched in 2010 by Growthpoint Properties, Growsmart is the company’s CSI initiative and aims to improve literacy among primary school learners in Grades 4 to 6. The project is endorsed by the Western Cape Education Department with each of the participating schools identified by the Department on a needs basis.
Based loosely on the concept of a spelling bee, Growsmart encourages learners to go a step further than simply spelling a word, by requiring them to also provide its definition and use it in a sentence - all while working together as a team. Colourful and interactive Growsmart newspapers are given to over 70, 000 learners at the participating schools, providing them with a valuable teaching tool. The aim of the project is to enhance teaching and learning of the National Curriculum Statement (NCS) and as such the content of the Growsmart newspaper is all based on the Curriculum.
The first level of the 2013 competition took place in April, involving 200 schools competing from four Western Cape education districts, with 40 schools qualifying for level two. The second level resulted in eight schools making it through to the semi-final of which five schools compete in the final.
Ecstatic principal of Zwaanswyk Academy, Anthony Adams enthused, “The children have been so incredibly dedicated and have worked so hard to win today. We are extremely proud of them! We have already submitted our wish list and hope to have plans in place soon for improvements to start on the school. We would like to thank Growthpoint Properties for giving us this opportunity to improve the lives of our learners.”
Second place was awarded to St Raphaels Primary in Athlone, who received R 50, 000 towards the upgrade of their school and the three learners received R10, 000 each towards their future education. Wesfleur Primary School in Atlantis took third place in the competition, receiving R 25, 000 with the three learners receiving R5, 000 each. Furthermore, each learner from the eight schools participating in the semi-final and final rounds received a Growsmart jacket and backpack filled with R1, 500 worth of prizes including items like educational games, dictionaries, stationery and calculators. The total value of prizes amounted to R448, 000.
Shawn Theunissen, Head of Corporate Social Investment for Growthpoint Properties explains: “It is important for us as a company to look at the challenges South Africa faces around literacy. Through the implementation of the Growsmart programme and our partnership with the Western Cape Education Department, our aim is to help improve literacy levels in the Province.”
“This competition is about so much more than literacy. It’s a terrific confidence booster for the participants and the support received from schools and educators has been tremendous,” says Theunissen. “Growsmart has generated so much interest and excitement amongst learners, their teachers, mentors and parents, as well as in the local community. We are very proud that the impact of this programme is being felt by learners across 200 schools in the Cape Town Metropole.”
A few of Growthpoint Properties’ shopping centres held book drives ahead of the final round of the competition, encouraging shoppers to donate books for needy schools. Thousands of books have been collected and will be donated toItsitsa Primary School (Mfuleni), St. Mary's Primary School (Nyanga), Cavelleria Primary School (Kraaifontein) and Blossomstreet Primary School (Athlone) at the conclusion of the Growsmart campaign.
For more information please visit www.growsmart.org.za
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