Word to fire young imaginations

Word to fire young imaginations

Pupils from schools across Aberdeen city and shire have an opportunity to meet leading children’s authors, cartoonists and story tellers – for free.

Word – the University of Aberdeen Writers Festival – has launched its Marathon Oil Schools’ and Children’s Festivals and places are filling up fast.

A host of free events covering an age range from nursery to S6 will be laid on to inspire young imaginations, ranging from comic book making workshops to meeting a joking computer.

Youngsters can also hear from leading children’s authors including John Fardell, who will bring his entertaining picture books to life, Keith Gray, award-winning author of Ostrich Boys, and Janis Mackay, who will take them on a journey to a make-believe world under the sea with her popular creation Magnus Fin.

The Schools’ Festival will run from Tuesday May 11 to Thursday May 13 with a separate Children’s Festival from Saturday May 15 to Sunday May 16.

All events are free of charge, thanks to continuing sponsorship from Marathon Oil, but booking is essential.

Word offers a diverse range of activities to fire young imaginations – budding young scientists can investigate Why is Snot Green? and How Loud Can You Burb? with bestselling children’s author Glenn Murphy.

His Science:Sorted! Event on Saturday May 15, will see him tackle everything from dinosaurs and vampire bats to moon bases and alien life in a fast-paced and entertaining participation show suitable for children from ages eight to 14.

Pupils in P5 to S2 have an opportunity to meet a computer which can create its own jokes, while older pupils, from S1-S6 can learn the secrets of comic making in a special Study Break session.

Study Breakwill help them to create their own graphic novels in the exciting setting of the Transition Extreme centre, Links Road, on Wednesday May 12 from 5-6pm. This twilight event can be block booked by school classes or attended by individuals.

History will also be brought to life in Patriotism, Privations and Peace, through the letters of a First World War nurse, where S1-S3 will also create their own poems and prose.

In a first for Word, Adam’s Magic Show will deliver fun and surprises for the whole family and there will also be Doric storytelling and Gaelic poetry, verse, songs and games, which can be enjoyed by Gaelic and non-Gaelic speakers alike.

Jill Burnett, co-ordinator of Word’s Children’s and Schools’ Festivals, said: “The School’s and Children’s Festivals at Word have proved enormously successful and have grown year on year.

“We have an exciting line-up for 2010 with over 35 events to suit an age range from nursery to S6 pupils and all sessions will be fun as well as informative.

“In addition to bookable events at the Children’s Festival, we will also have the Reading Bus on campus on May 15 and 16 which families can hop aboard and a Festival face painter will be available throughout the weekend.”

To book tickets for the Schools’ and Childrens Festivals, visit www.abdn.ac.uk/word/programme or contact Aberdeen Box Office on 01224 641122