New preschool for Helenvale community

2019-01-30 06:00
< Learners, Elwino Bells (4) and Rogan Swartz (3), enjoy making arts and crafts at Helenvale Centre of Hope’s, Growing Station.Photos: SUPPLIED

< Learners, Elwino Bells (4) and Rogan Swartz (3), enjoy making arts and crafts at Helenvale Centre of Hope’s, Growing Station.Photos: SUPPLIED

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A BRAND new preschool has secured 36 spots for children in Helenvale which aims to teach ages one to five under the early childhood development curriculum.

The Growing Station pre-school, launched by the Helenvale Centre of Hope, opened its doors earlier this month after a decision had been made to ensure a better future for children in the northern areas.

According to Mario Lewis, chairperson of Helenvale Centre of Hope, the Growing Station method allows children to move around the classroom freely and make their own choices while working at their pace.

“With a developmental approach from the grassroots level, we cover each phase of the child’s development from infancy to adolescence,” Lewis said.

Children, between 18 months and five years, will work with a range of materials that develop their concepts of maths, language, art, sociability and more. The selection is based on an application process manned by the centre.

Having a mixed-aged group, Lewis said, also allows learners to mentor each other, and builds relationships between older and younger learners.

Although the organisation is still in its infancy it has already given educational assistance to over 100 learners at Hillcrest Primary School and over 50 learners at Helenvale Primary School.

“The organisation was formed two years ago and throughout our journey, we partnered with the local primary and high schools, community groups and institutions,” Lewis added.

The cost per child per month is R150, which includes breakfast, lunch and stationery.

Lewis said, “We have plans to broaden the programme and double the amount of children next year and increase the staff number to assist every child’s need.”

Plans are in place to accommodate more learners in the new academic year.

“We believe what happens early in life lasts a lifetime, and the power to change the society is to transform the way young children are taught,” Lewis said

Anyone willing to assist with educational equipment and toys or for more information can contact the organisation on 081 097 6978 or


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