Growsmart launches in the Eastern Cape to boost quality education for primary school children

    Growsmart, the leading education initiative by Growthpoint Properties in collaboration with the Eastern Cape Department of Education, today launched for the first time in 60 Eastern Cape schools.

    Growsmart is a fun, competitive and exciting resource that is curriculum-based and helps educators and learners to master their required syllabus work.

    The programme will be offered in 30 schools in East London and the same number of schools in Port Elizabeth for the first time in 2018

    These schools are chosen by the Department of Education because they show poor literacy performance. Growsmart targets learning grades four, five and six, which is where the department has identified its potential to have the biggest possible impacts.

    The Eastern Cape is the second South African province in which Growsmart is working to have meaningful, positive impacts on primary school performance.

    The initiative started nine-years ago in the Western Cape, where it has established a strong, successful track record. Here, it has helped thousands of children and teachers, grown into 160 schools, and expanded to include literacy, story writing, mathematics, science and debating. As a measure of its success, its story writing initiative has already produced 80 published authors under the age of 13 whose books are now being used in the school system.

    Growsmart continually strives to find more ways to extend its reach within schools that will benefit most from its support, and it aims to foster access quality education in an increasingly holistic way.

    It has now set its sights on replicating its solid platform of success in Eastern Cape schools. Growthpoint is invested in several landmark properties in the province, including Greenacres and Walmer Park Shopping Centre in Port Elizabeth and Beacon Bay Retail Park in East London.

    For its inaugural project in Eastern Cape schools, Growthpoint will focus on boosting the literacy performance of primary school children with a specially developed spelling competition. Growsmart provides all materials and resources needed to excel in the competition, which is based on the schools’ curriculum.

    Jewel Harris heads the Growsmart initiative for Growthpoint and explains: “This collaborative approach to boost education with the Eastern Cape Department of Education creates a meaningful and effective way to make a real, positive contribution to education in South Africa. We are extremely excited to bring this high-energy, high-impact programme to the Eastern Cape.”

    Now in 210 schools across two provinces, Growsmart is a leading example of the impacts and importance of ongoing effective public-private partnerships. It is designed to be transformative for educators and children, but also for their families, communities and South Africa as a whole.

    Shawn Theunissen, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Growthpoint, says: “For Growthpoint, Growsmart helps us to give primary school learners access to quality education. Growthpoint isn’t only invested in our property assets in the Western Cape; we are also invested in communities. Growsmart is an effective way of creating social capital for our business and stakeholders alike.”

    With its track record of success, it is unsurprising that Growsmart has attracted the support of like-minded sponsors. Its partners are all passionate about seeing South Africa’s children enjoy a better future.

    “As part of its development, Growsmart has enjoyed good support from the business and education community, and we look forward to it being welcomed in the Eastern Cape with the same spirit of collaboration. We embrace corporate and organisational partnerships because together we can do so much more. Through collaboration, Growsmart has earned an impressive track record of successfully changing the lives of primary school children and forging a brighter future for them, and we want to do even more,” says Harris.

    Growthpoint provides space to thrive with innovative and sustainable property solutions. It is an international property company and the largest South African primary REIT listed on the JSE. It owns and manages a diversified portfolio of 547 property assets, locally and internationally. Growthpoint is a component of the FTSE4Good Emerging Index and has been included in the FTSE/JSE Responsible Investment Index for eight years running. It owns and co-owns the largest portfolio of certified green buildings of any company in South Africa and is recognised as a leading developer of green buildings.


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