Mechanimals Bring Generations Together in Story Makers Project
Greenfield Arts in partnership with Greenfield Community College and funded by GAMP AAP, have been working with students on a new Story Makers project to improve literacy and communication skills in young people.
The project, which uses STEAM qualities, has been devised to be intergenerational and use storytelling as a way to capture the imaginations of the young people involved. The students have worked with production manager Richard Agar to create mechanical puppets of animals devised from their own imaginary design. These mechanimals have then been brought to life by artist Anne Curtis, who has helped children from local primary schools to create stories based on these characters.
The young people have taken their mechanimals and wonderful stories to local primary schools to present their work and see how they can encourage a love of stories in others. Children from Byerley Park and Stephenson Way Primary Schools were thrilled to be involved in the project and meet the 'mechanimals' and help older students bring them to life.
This then informed the next step of the project which was to create an app for smart phones and tablets, which young people can access to create their own stories. The new app features ‘mechanimal’ characters. The online creatures can take on their own identity and personality by choosing from a wide variety of quality graphics and imaginative dialogue.
Recent visits to Byerley Park Primary School and Stephenson Way Primary School with the app have seen the project realise its potential, not only have the young participants grown in confidence and self-belief whilst learning through creative play but they have had the opportunity to work together and be ambassadors for the project. This is a great chance for the students involved to shine and see how they can impact on their wider community, and promotes litracy through creative play.
The project has successfully brought generations together in a fun and fruitful way. The app can be accessed for free by visiting iTunes and then just search for ‘Greenfield Arts StoryMakers’ and download to your smartphone or tablet. We will be delivering family sessions and more activity to share the app throughout the holidays so keep your eyes peeled!