Children in Blackpool are going over the rainbow to improve their literacy skills

07 May 2020
Draw and display

Get Blackpool Reading, our campaign led in partnership with the Blackpool Opportunity Area and Blackpool Council, has developed a literacy-based activity for children aged 7-11 to enjoy at home and as part of families’ daily outdoor exercise.

The Draw and Display tour competition is inspired by the rainbows of hope and teddy bears that have appeared in windows throughout the coronavirus outbreak. It asks families to bring memories of the resort to life by colouring in a bespoke seaside scene and displaying them in their windows.

To take part, families can download and print the competition resource from the Get Blackpool Reading website or Facebook page and colour it in. If families don’t have access to a printer it has also been published in the Blackpool Gazette, or children are welcome to draw their own version.

Older children can take part in the competition by writing a poem inspired by the rainbows of hope and putting them up in the window for their neighbours to see.

Parents are asked to take a photo or scan in their children’s entries and share it on social media using the hashtag #GetBlackpoolReading or getblackpoolreading@literacytrust.org.uk with their name and age before the closing date of Friday 17 July 2020.

All entrants will be submitted to a prize draw to win an iPad Mini. There will also be prizes for participants that spots the highest number of seaside scenes or poems in windows around their local area while exercising once a day.

Laura Flinn, Get Blackpool Reading Campaign Manager, said:

“Although times are strange for families in Blackpool right now, we hope the Draw and Display tour will bring hope and happiness to parents and children in lockdown.

“Research tells us that there are literacy benefits to both mark-making and writing poetry as it encourages your child to be creative, share ideas and express their thoughts and feelings.

“We hope as many local families as possible are inspired to take part – especially with such a brilliant prize to be won!”

Chair of the Blackpool Opportunity Area partnership board chair, Graham Cowley, said:

“Blackpool Opportunity Area is proud to support Get Blackpool Reading, a great campaign reminding us all of the benefits of regular reading. The campaign’s Draw and Display tour competition can remind us all of happier days during this difficult time.

“We are committed to improving literacy levels in Blackpool and encouraging children to read for pleasure forms a huge part of this.”

Get Blackpool Reading’s Draw and Display activity is just one way twe are responding to COVID-19. Parents can also visit the newly-launched Get Blackpool Reading Facebook page or the National Literacy Trust Family Zone for a one-stop shop of tips and resources to support learning at home. The equivalent platform for children at secondary school, Zone In, is due to launch this month.