The photo of her first day in Grade 1 shows six-year-old Alana Francis beaming. She couldn’t be happier to finally be at “big school”. She’s neat as a pin in her uniform and holds a board stating that she loves school and wants to be a doctor when she grows up. So it’s no wonder that the proud young girl from Constantia Kloof Primary School in Roodepoort won Move!’s first I’m a 1st Grader competition with her photo receiving the most votes – 7 412. “It was all smiles from the time we left until we picked her up,” mom Thamaray Francis says. “She even walked to her class ahead of us because she knew which class it was.”
Alana enjoys extra-curricular activities, including swimming and math lessons, and is an avid reader. “I’ve created a new thing for the year,” Thamaray says. “For every 10 books she reads, she gets a surprise reward. Alana is done with her 10 already.”
The Move! 1st Grader competition kicked off online on 15 January. Parents were invited to upload a photo or two of their children in school uniforms before heading to Grade 1 for the first time. Determined to win, Thamaray started a call to action. “We circulated the voting link to our colleagues, family and friends. We were at it every day,” she says. The family walked away with a R5 000 cash prize and R2 000 for Alana’s school. Thamaray didn’t think twice when we asked her how the prize money will be spent – “school fees”, she says. Alana has different plans. “I think I want to use it to do our pool. I had a dream that the pool was big and it had a big water slide!” she says. The competition’s second prize went to Relebohile Maloka from Carletonville, who won R3 000. When Relebohile found out that her mother had entered the competition for her, she asked for all types of sweets if they win. Now that she’s won her share in the competition, she’s had a humbling change of heart and wants to use it to contribute to her school fees. But also to go to Spur and buy lipstick. Third prizewinner, Mainganye Molahlehi, from Johannesburg won R2 000. Her mom, Selloane, says she is over the moon about the prize.
“I will buy her favourite pizza, but the important thing is to save for her school fees. Her education comes first.” PEP’s grand prizewinner – who won R10 000 cash and R6 000 for their school – was randomly drawn from the competition entries received by Move! and our sister magazines, Huisgenoot, YOU and DRUM. The winner is Azina Mamane (6), a Grade 1 learner from Glenanda Primary School in Joburg .“I’ll be able to buy school things she needs and it will go towards school fees,” mom Unathi Mamane says. “I did think I would win, I was working hard asking friends to vote for me. It was a bit hectic,” Azina says.