CREATIVE schoolchildren in South Tyneside are being urged to get onboard with a competition aimed at sprucing up a North East cultural landmark.
Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children’s Books, have teamed up with Newcastle Building Society, to get children aged 11 and under to design a new sail for the Sea Song Sang, a storytelling boat moored alongside Seven Stories in Newcastle’s Ouseburn Valley.
The winning designs will be made into three real sails and hoisted on deck as part of refurbishments that are being carried on the boat due to flood damage suffered last summer.
School classes of children can enter together, while individual entries are also being accepted.
As well as the winner seeing their sail on display in all its glory, their class will also get a Seven Stories Hooks into Books book pack, a VIP invitation to the launch event and a free class visit to Seven Stories.
Newcastle Building Society partnered with Seven Stories on the original design and creation of the Sea Song Sang as part of the award-winning Voyages arts and education programme.
The initiative involved over 300 children, teachers, artists and parents over a three-year period, and has been a corporate supporter of the venue since it opened in 2005.
Seven Stories is the only museum in the UK wholly dedicated to the art of British children’s books, and was awarded National status by The Arts Council in September last year in recognition of the significance of its work.
Kate Edwards, chief executive at Seven Stories, said: “Sea Song Sang is one of our most popular exhibits.
“The boat arrived at Seven Stories just as we opened over seven years ago.
“It was designed and built from ideas put forward by children from nine schools across the Northeast through a project supported by Newcastle Building Society, has grown up with us and is a well-loved feature on the Ouseburn river.
Gillian Tiplady, head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Newcastle Building Society, adds: “Seven Stories is all about interaction and imagination and this is a very special opportunity for north east children to witness their ideas coming to life for everyone to see.”
The competition is open to Early Years, Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 classes, and closes at 4pm on Sunday, March 17.
To enter the competition, visit www.sevenstories.org.uk/news/latestnews/new-sail-competition