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Friday 06 March 2020

Drawn Into Stories: Brighton's Collected Works Launch Children's Illustration Project In Whitehawk

Brighton based Collected Works CIC, has been awarded two year funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation to launch an ambitious children's literacy initiative: Drawn Into Stories, working with all three primary schools in Whitehawk, East Brighton.

Credit Jen O'Brien

The project, led by former Children's Laureate Chris Riddell, will offer children exclusive access to an impressive line-up of professional author/illustrators, including Sophy Henn, Adam Stower and Steven Lenton 

The project will explore the importance of illustration in developing children's engagement with and comprehension of stories, and look at whether a rich, varied and sustained programme of arts based activities can improve children's reading, transferable skills, creativity and knowledge. 

Chris Riddell commented:  

"As a fan of keeping a visual diary myself, I like the fact that Collected Works will be giving every child, teacher and illustrator involved a sketchbook to document their own personal journey. 

"It is important to support imagination and projects like this allow children to discover their own creativity." 

There will also be several Continued Professional Development (CPD) sessions for Whitehawk teachers during the programme. 

These will be delivered by well known illustrators (including Nick Sharratt and Liz Pichon). Collected Works' believes giving teachers the skills to tell stories through illustration, is as important as supporting creativity in children. 

Although the Whitehawk estate is Brighton & Hove's most deprived area, it boasts a vibrant and engaged community and Drawn Into Stories has already been warmly received by teachers and community leaders.

Thomas McMorrin, Deputy Headteacher at City Academy Whitehawk added: 

"We are really proud of the quality of our children's creative writing and we're keen to explore the ways in which illustrations can enhance this. 

"Our teachers deliver a creative curriculum and we consider ourselves very lucky to be able to explore new avenues of creativity using illustration skills taught by much-loved experts like Sophy Henn. 

"The current Year Fives were taught using a novel illustrated by Chris Riddell last year so they were excited to hear about his involvement. 

"It is a privilege for our school to be involved in a project like this, to learn from experts and work closely with other East Brighton schools and we can't wait to watch the children develop new skills!"

Three of the illustrators involved in the first year of Drawn Into Stories: Chris Riddell, Sophy Henn and Adam Stower studied Illustration at the University of Brighton, and the University has been secured as a partner in the two year programme. 

It is hoped that towards the end of the programme the participating children will be able to showcase their creative work at the 'Our Place' community programme in East Brighton (May 2021) to friends, family and the wider community.

by: Mike Cobley


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