Winning story to be brought to life

Written by Kgaogelo Letsebe

Xia Du Toit, the 2021 Story Stars winner, and her animated character from her story Afrika Kinders.

The Western Cape Education De­partment (WCED) is calling on all Grade 4 learners in the region to enter the 2022 Story Stars essay competition.

Launched in 2020, Story Stars is the fictional adventure of Felix and Felicity.

Interested Grade 4 learners will need to write an essay about the charac­ters’ latest adventure.

The winning story will be published and distrib­uted to local schools and also be the basis of an animated film.

In addition to being the star of the video, the win­ner will receive a tablet, book bag and branded stationery.

The winning school will receive R10 000 for learn­ing and teaching support material, and the relevant teacher will get a R2 000 gift voucher, book bag and stationery.

The second and third prize winners will each receive a tablet, book bag and stationery.

Western Cape Educa­tion MEC Debbie Schäfer says the competition was created to get learners excited about reading and creative writing.

“Our 2019 survey of a class of Grade 4 learners showed that their inter­ests lay more in watching cartoons and becoming YouTube stars.

We decided to create a competition that encour­aged reading and crea­tive writing, that could ultimately result in an animated film – written, narrated and starred in by the winner.”

MEC Schäfer adds that Grade 4 teachers have been given all the com­petition information. The top three entries from each school will be en­tered into the provincial competition.

She says that reading and writing are an impor­tant part of a child’s de­velopment and exposing children to books at an early age helps with their vocabulary development and language skills.

The 2021 winner, Xia du Toit from Laerskool Mikro, penned the story Afrika Kinders (Africa’s Children), a narrative about Felix and Felicity finding themselves in the Kruger National Park.

“My family and I visit the Kruger National Park often. It is our favourite holiday destination and it was where I wanted to send Felix and Felicity. I was very surprised and overwhelmed when I saw how my story was shaped into an animation,” she says.

How to enter

The competition guidelines, application forms, story booklet and animation film can be found on www.wcedonline.westerncape.gov.za.

Emailed entries can be sent to media1.media1@ westerncape.gov.za. In the subject line, type: Story Stars Essay Competition 2022.

Hand-delivered entries can be dropped off at: Edumedia (WCED), 3 Station Road, Mowbray, Cape Town, between 8am and to 3:30pm (Monday to Friday).

The deadline for entries is 15 April.