Children’s author launches Whitehawk project to encourage young people to read

A Brighton-based social enterprise has launched a children’s illustration project in Whitehawk with help from a children’s author and illustrator.

Tuesday, 10th March 2020, 9:49 am
Author and illustrator Chris Riddell, photo by Jen O'Brien

Collected Works CIC launched the new project with former children’s laureate Chris Riddell.

The Drawn Into Stories initiative aims to encourage children to read more and will be funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

Whitehawk’s primary schools will take part in the project and have access to professional authors and illustrators including Sophy Henn, Adam Stower and Steven Lenton.

Attendees at the launch of Drawn Into Stories, photo by Jen O'Brien

Chris Riddell said: “I’m excited about Drawn Into Stories and proud to be involved.

“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.”

Teachers will also take part in training as part of the project which will be delivered by well known illustrators including Nick Sharratt and Liz Pichon.

Children's books at the launch of Drawn Into Stories, photo by Jen O'Brien

Thomas McMorrin, deputy headteacher at City Academy Whitehawk, said: “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.

“The current Year 5s 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.”

Three of the illustrators involved in Drawn Into Stories - Chris Riddell, Sophy Henn and Adam Stower- studied illustration at the University of Brighton, which is a partner of the project.

Sarah Hutchings, director of Collected Works CIC, said: “Drawing is an important form of communication that can encapsulate big ideas, simply and economically. “This project allows the participating children space to express what they are thinking and feeling, through illustration, while being mentored by professionals. “Nurturing children’s creative independence is essential to the development of their writing, reading and understanding, and we are hugely grateful to the Paul Hamlyn Foundation for believing in our ideas and supporting us to test and explore our approaches.”

Children participating in the project may have the chance to have their work displayed at the ‘Our Place’ community programme in May 2021.

More information about Collected Works CIC can be found at its website.