Why we exist
BrightSparkz’s mission is to create brighter opportunities through learning! We’ve helped thousands of school learners, university students and adults find unique solutions for their learning needs, no matter the stage of their learning journey. This is our passion!
Who are we?
How it all began
This is our story! We hope that the following 5 minute read will give you a little insight into our somewhat unconventional journey and inspire you to continue learning. Enjoy 🙂
In 2005, two Physiotherapy students at the University of Cape Town came up with an idea to start up a company that facilitated one on one home tutoring. One of these students, Amy, had been tutoring as a way to earn income as a student, and had seen an escalation in the requests for someone knowledgeable to assist with various school subjects as a form of supplementary learning support. In her 4th year, due to long practical hours, Amy was unable to accommodate the increasing requests, and started to look for suitable candidates to assist with some of the requests she had been getting. This started by offering these opportunities to her peers or asking if they knew of anyone who could help. Dominique’s entrepreneurial mind started ticking. This is how BrightSparkz Tutors was born!
The early years
BrightSparkz Tutors was officially registered and started operating in Cape Town, South Africa in January 2007, providing private one on one tutoring for Grades 1 – 12 for any examinable subject. The value came in the thorough screening of applicants during the recruitment process (including a one on one interview), as well as the careful matching of a tutor depending on each learner’s individual needs. Over the next few years, BrightSparkz opened branches in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Port Elizabeth and Durban, as well as Online tutoring in more remote areas. We also started offering tutoring for a variety of university subjects, languages for children and adults, as well as corporate tutoring and training.
The ideas kept flowing and we couldn’t stop there! We established ourselves in the Concessions arena, being the first tutoring company to design and utilize our own course to train readers, scribes and invigilators, that is now recognized by educational bodies in South Africa. We have also done training sessions with tertiary invigilators at prominent universities and colleges.
Thereafter, we created our own Study Skills Crash Course – a 2 hour one on one session with a trained facilitator, aimed to impart relevant study and organizational technique based on an individual’s unique learning style. We’re also planning an exciting upgrade to this program before the end of 2020.
More learning support services
The next thing on our agenda was to create a flexible way to learn a language at home, with the option of a tutor if needed. Our Language Boot Camp series (now comprising 4 languages and 2 on the way!) are structured in a user-friendly way to learn a language incorporating voice clips and short quizzes to reinforce concepts, increase vocabulary and improve confidence in speaking. These courses are perfect for school learners, university students and beginner adults. You should try one!
What about learning support before kids even get to school? In 2018, we began working on Little Sparkz – a program designed to prepare 3 – 5 year olds for Kindergarten, teaching the foundational literacy, numeracy, fine and gross motor skills needed in order to enter Kindergarten with confidence. This program, created and endorsed by Early Childhood Development specialists, aims to ensure school readiness upon completion of the two-level course, and can be completed at home with the help of a parent or caretaker.
What’s next for BrightSparkz? In 2020, launched our exciting Mind The Gap, a course aimed to upskill high school learners, university students and recent graduates – anyone on the hunt for their first job for that matter. This comprehensive program covers everything from how to choose a field and job to suit your personality and lifestyle, to where to search and how to apply for jobs, crafting an impressive resume and cover letter, how to prepare for and conduct yourself in an interview, and how to successfully navigate your first few weeks in the workplace with professionalism. Mind The Gap set you up for success!
In June 2019, Amy and her family moved from Johannesburg to Ontario, and in December 2019, BrightSparkz Inc (Canada) was born. We started our Canadian adventure with our Little Sparkz and Language Boot Camp series but the unexpected happened and the world was launched into a pandemic that would change the way that students would learn. Once the dust settled and students were back in the classroom, there was a new need – catch up!
We’d say that 2021 was our first “real” year – the year that we were able to start bringing the BrightSparkz magic to Canadian families as we always knew it. After a rocky couple of years, we were so grateful to be in the privileged position to ensure that students got back on track, gained confidence and achieved to their full potentials again.
We were excited and energized every time a match was made, and the feedback we started receiving from families was overwhelmingly positive. Our tutor tribe started expanding quickly and we have been fortunate to partner with incredible organizations along the way, giving us the chance to reach even more children (and adults) through learning-based Summer Camp Programs and collaborations with local businesses.
We have a couple of new and exciting projects up our sleeves for 2023 including our very first book! We can’t wait to see where we go from here – hope you’ll join us!