Dr Matt Finch with Behind the Book's Comic Workshop in Brooklyn, NYC
Tonight, Thursday 1st September, I’ll be the guest speaker at the opening dinner of Paint the Town REaD’s Annual Convention in Sydney.
You can find them online at their new home, http://paintthetownread.info/
To discover more about this amazing Australian community literacy scheme, read my recent piece on the website of New York literacy organisation Behind the Book:
At the heart of the city on Circular Quay, Wildlife Sydney offers every kind of Aussie animal life, from saltwater crocodiles to
Crocodile at Wildlife Sydney
rock wallabies. Behind the scenes, one staff member is working to promote zoology to young visitors through her own writing.
Ayla Herskind’s What is a marsupial? follows a small boy on a visit to the zoo, where he tries to work out what kind of animal a koala is with the help of a friendly keeper.
Ayla, Interactive Officer at Wildlife Sydney, wrote the book as a way to introduce the categories of taxonomy to young readers: ‘The whole notion of genus and type is too complicated for very young readers, but the questions and answers in the book let children understand what makes marsupials different from other animals. I’d like to do the same for other classes of Australian wildlife too.’
Australia’s Cockatoo Island has a chequered past as a former shipyard and prison turned nature reserve – but recent school holidays saw it transformed once more. The UNESCO world heritage site in the city of Sydney became the scene for intergalactic adventure and time-travelling mystery as the BBC’s Doctor Who came to Australia in a whole new form.
A monster design from Designing Doctor Who at NIDA
For three years, NIDA, Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Art, has offered a range of Doctor Who-themed holiday courses for children and young people, taught by industry professionals. I dropped in to see what was on offer and speak with the team behind this unique education programme.
This year, Designing Doctor Who students spent three days creating their own detailed alien worlds and artefacts, while Writing Doctor Who students got the opportunity to devise mini-scripts performed by students on the Acting on Screen: Doctor Who course in front of an audience of parents and friends.
The holiday activities including location shooting on Cockatoo Island, where one student-penned adventure saw the Doctor and his companion Amy pursued by Fashion Police opposed to bow ties and short skirts!
Peter Mountford, Manager of Youth and Holiday activities at NIDA, said, “This was the third holiday program at NIDA to feature Doctor Who themed courses and I am pleased to say that it was the most successful yet. Both tutors and students had a fantastic time filming their self-devised Doctor Who stories out at Cockatoo Island – a setting that is perfect for time-travelling adventurers!”