Who said making an animated short film was only reserved for professionals at Disney or Pixar? A Grade 4 learner named Keschrie Booysen, from Philadelphia Primary School recently decided to make her dream a reality when she wrote, narrated and starred in her own animated short.

Booysen was given the opportunity to create the animation after she was crowned the winner of the 2020 Story Stars essay competition. Story Stars is a series of animated short films created by using stories that were written and narrated by Grade 4 learners of the Western Cape.

The idea behind this great initiative is to get learners around the Western Cape excited about creative writing and the opportunities it can bring. According to the Western Cape Education Department, a survey was conducted in 2019 with a class of Grade 4 learners, and it was evident that a majority of their interests lay in watching cartoons and becoming YouTube stars.

The WCED 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 themselves.  And this exactly what happened to Booysen, who has her own animated short film now live on YouTube.

In 2020, hundreds of entries from schools around the Western Cape were submitted, and after a lengthy adjudication process, the winning stories were selected.

The top three stories that were selected are:

1st place: “The last adventure in Shoe Land” by Keschrie Booysen – Philadelphia Primary – Metro North – Teacher: E Loubser

2nd place: “Green save the day!” by Kylie Muller – Mitchells Plain Primary – Metro South – Teacher: J Doman

3rd  place: “Felix and Felicity the two adventurers” by Mibono Cekeshe – Laerskool Volschenk – Eden and Central Karoo – Teacher: J Lotter

In addition to writing, starring in and narrating the video, which will be watched by thousands of learners across the Western Cape, the Story Stars winner also received a tablet, book bag and branded stationery.

The winning school received a R10 000 transfer payment for learning and teaching support material and the teacher, a R2 000 gift voucher, book bag and stationery.

The 2nd and 3rd prize winners each received a tablet, book bag and stationery.

Take a look at Keschrie Booysen’s animated short below:

If you know of any Grade 4 learners or teachers that would be interested in being part of the next Story Stars competition, simply e-mail: [email protected] (Subject line: Story Stars Essay Competition 2021) or click here for more information.

Picture: Screenshot from video

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