Children and school pupils across Northumberland are already contemplating a very special writing assignment that could help them to express their emotions, as well as showing imagination and creativity.
Northumberland Day 2021 has launched a ‘Letter to Northumbear’ competition, which asks children to pen a letter to its adorable mascot, Northumbear, in order to win prizes in one of three age groups.
The prize on offer in each age group consists of a personalised letter-writing set, a children’s digital voice recorder, so children can capture their future writing ideas on voice memos, and a little trophy.
Children can choose to write about one of three things, as they seek to talk, in written form, to the little bear and his friends, NElephant and Heartley, and little brother, Oswaldain.
The first choice is to write about their last year and how it has made them feel – possibly a means for children to voice some, as yet, unheard emotions. The second choice is that of writing about why they love Northumberland. The third is ‘How I will celebrate Northumberland Day 2021’.
All head teachers of primary schools across Northumberland have been sent information and some schools are already planning their pupil entries. Even if a school does not take part, children can still enter independently, penning their letters at home.
The other dimension to the Northumberland Day initiative focuses on helping businesses, visitor attractions and community hubs bring footfall and people back into their sphere, in an attempt to potentially give them a boost.
Special Letter to Northumbear postboxes have been created, which venues can apply to have, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org These postboxes feature Northumbear and friends and venues can put them up and allow children to pop in and post their letters to Northumbear, in exchange for a sticker. Entries just then need to be forwarded to organisers, after the closing date of June 10, 2021.
All details of the competition can be found in the 2021 Zone at www.northumberlandday.co.uk
Schools have also been advised of the Bunties Awards, special awards this year, hand-crafted by glass artist, Helen Grierson, which will reward the Best Decorated School, as well as the Best Decorated Business, Best Decorated Home and Best Decorated Community Building or Facility. Additionally, there will be one for the winner of the annual Northumberland Day Flag Challenge, which asks people to be photographed with the Northumberland Flag, in an unusual place.
Decorations could be made from a variety of materials, many of which can be found at the Amble Pin Cushion, which became the first shop to request a Letter to Northumbear postbox. Owner, Norma Arthur, will be decorating her own shop in the county colours but has all the materials for bunting-making and more, should others also wish to show their pride in the county.
Another great place to head, to post your Letter to Northumbear meanwhile, is the Saltwater Café in Beadnell, which also has its very own postbox.
Teachers can help their pupils learn more about their county and become proud of where they live, by using some of the material in education packs from 2018 and 2019, to be found in the Northumberland Day website’s education area. A new resource should be available in the next week.
Northumberland Day says more competitions are on the horizon and other initiatives will be announced in the coming days.
Meanwhile, community groups or businesses wishing to promote an event that could be deemed to celebrate Northumberland Day are being encouraged to send in its key details, so that it can be uploaded to the Northumberland Day website.
Head to www.northumberlandday.co.uk to become inspired ahead of this Northumberland Day on May 30th. Events and activities, as usual, can take place in the run up to Northumberland Day and just after it but, this year, it could be all about the red and yellow decorations and just sharing a love of Northumberland with friends and family.