19 April 2023 – Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) and Exclusive Books partnered to plant trees for education and donate new books to three schools in celebration of Earth Day and World Book Day. 

Volunteer days took place at three schools in Gauteng (Cosmo City Secondary), KwaZulu-Natal (Grandmore Primary) and the Western Cape (Kronendal Primary) on 18 April. Combined, 3725 learners and  149 educators will all benefit from the trees and books. Exclusive Books volunteers, eager learners and FTFA facilitators planted one hundred and fifty-five trees at the schools. 

“Food & Trees for Africa is particularly excited about projects like these. They encourage learners’ interest in the environment and broaden their perspectives. In spaces that have traditionally been barren, planting trees is one of the most practical and impactful environmental strategies. Trees increase carbon offsetting and create green spaces that can support children in their learning experiences. We look forward to seeing them read their new books under the shade of these trees in years to come.” – Susan Evans, Event & Trees Distribution Manager. 

Both trees and the books that come from them, are essential tools to learning. Between 2010 to 2021, the literacy rate of South Africa decreased by 3.3%. Almost 80% of South African Grade 4 learners still fall below the lowest internationally recognised level of reading literacy. By encouraging children to read new books, and providing them with a beautiful “outdoor classroom” in which to do so, the FTFA and Exclusive Books partnership hopes to instill a love of reading in these learners. 

Unsurprisingly, trees are associated with better academic performance, especially in primary school learners attending under-resourced schools. Not only do tree ecosystems provide oxygen and clean air which are vital to our wellbeing, increased access to trees and green spaces have been associated with improved attention and cognitive function. This is why tree planting initiatives in local communities such as schools can have a substantial social impact.   

“Both books and trees are about nourishment, escape, comfort and growth. The proximity of Earth Day to World Book Day made for a perfect fit. Exclusive Books honoured books and trees as the focus for our month-long retail campaign in April.” says Batya Bricker, Marketing, Loyalty and Procurement General Manager.

Exclusive Books invites fanatics and customers to buy any children’s book during World Book Month to help raise funds for the ‘Book Tree Project’. A portion of every sale goes towards donating books and trees to schools in South Africa. You can also help by planting a tree with FTFA by donating here

About Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA)

FTFA is a Non-Profit Social Enterprise working towards a healthier, food secure future. FTFA’s initiatives address climate change and greening, promote natural resource management, organic farming and food security, and sustainable enterprise development. FTFA has planted over 4.7 million trees and developed thousands of school and community gardens. The organisation has supported and expanded hundreds of market gardens and farms. FTFA has been at the forefront of South African Social Development for more than 32 years. The organisation is a pioneer within climate change response and food security space – www.trees.org.za

About Exclusive Books
Exclusive Books has a rich history – a colourful past of peaceful protest, fascinating stories and a family of staff, all boasting eclectic and wide-ranging knowledge. Exclusive Books opened their first store on King George Street in Johannesburg in 1951. They have since expanded to over 40 stores. These include one in Botswana, one in Namibia, and one that can only be found in the sky – www.exclusivebooks.co.za

Climate change, Community Tree Planting Tag, Greening, greening community spaces, plant a tree, Urban Greening
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