Children across Blackpool were challenged to draw or write a poem about their memories of Blackpool during lockdown for the chance to win an iPad Mini and a bundle of books.
A pupil from Waterloo Primary Academy in Blackpool has won an iPad Mini and a bundle of brand new books to support his literacy skills this summer, after his poem inspired by Blackpool’s famous promenade was chosen as the winner of Get Blackpool Reading’s poetry writing and colouring competition.
To bring memories of the resort to life during lockdown, the Draw and Display tour competition from our Get Blackpool Reading campaign to build a town of confident readers, led in partnership with Blackpool Council and Blackpool Opportunity Area, asked children aged seven to 11 to colour a bespoke seaside scene to display in their window or write a poem about Blackpool.
Louis, aged nine, entered the competition with both a poem and a colouring entry. Like the rainbows of hope and teddy bears that appeared in windows at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, children were encouraged to display their artwork in their windows. It was hoped that members of their community would see and enjoy them during their daily outdoor exercise.
Louis’s winning poem is inspired by Blackpool’s famous promenade. Read his poem below:
Blackpool, Blackpool roller coasters and waterslides,
Blackpool, Blackpool home to a lovely seaside,
Blackpool, Blackpool we have a lovely zoo,
Three fantastic piers and an aquarium too.
Walking down the prom eating ice cream,
Making sure we’ve put on our sun cream.
Looking at our nice clean beaches,
Please take home your rubbish to protect our sea creatures
Riding high up in Blackpool tower
Dive into the arcade if it starts to shower
If you want to go a donkey ride,
Be wary of the incoming tide.
So before you go and visit a foreign land
Come and visit us and our golden sands.
Louis received an iPad Mini and a bundle of brand new books provided by leading publishers, Penguin Random House, to inspire him to continue to engage in reading and writing. More than 10 runners up also scooped a book to keep.
“Winning the competition makes me feel really proud of myself, I can’t believe I actually won. It feels like a dream. ‘I will be using the iPad to watch videos, play games and it will really help me with my school work.”Louis
“We were thrilled to see so many local children lighting up Blackpool in their Draw and Display tour competition entries. We know that both mark-making and writing poetry can inspire children to be creative, share ideas and express their thoughts and feelings and we hope it brought families plenty of happiness during a challenging time. “We absolutely loved reading Louis’s poem and seeing his picture and hope he uses his new iPad Mini to download and read lots more books to add to his new collection!”Laura Flinn, Get Blackpool Reading Campaign Manager
“Draw and Display was a fantastic competition and very well done to Louis for his winning poem. It reminds us of what we’ve missed for so long in lockdown and demonstrates the positive side effects that writing can have on us all, especially through a difficult time. “Blackpool Opportunity Area will be supporting lots of work to improve literacy across Blackpool over the coming year, including excellent campaign activity like this creative competition.”Chair of the Blackpool Opportunity Area partnership board, Graham Cowley, said:
The Draw and Display tour competition is just one of many activities launched by Get Blackpool Reading in responds to the coronavirus outbreak to inspire children’s reading and writing. The campaign has also gifted more than 1,000 books to children since lockdown began and provided a selection of digital books for families to borrow and enjoy at home via Blackpool libraries’ online catalogue.
Our research found that children have been reading and writing more during lockdown. A third (34.5%) of children and young people across the UK read more during lockdown and 6 in 10 (59%) said that it improved their mental wellbeing, while 1 in 5 (20.8%) children were inspired to write more poetry.
 National Literacy Trust (2020) Children and young people’s reading in 2020 before and during the COVID-19 lockdown
 National Literacy Trust (2020) Children and young people’s writing during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020