FVC students launch first Fairtrade kids’ book

FVC students launch first Fairtrade kids’ book

FVC students launch first Fairtrade kids’ book

An illustrated children’s story-book focussing on Fairtrade and created by students from Forth Valley College was launched today (Friday 25 November) as part of Book Week Scotland 2016 (21-27 November).

It is understood that the adventures of ‘Jolly Trolley’ - written by HNC Early Education and Childcare students and illustrated by FVC BA Art and Design student Michelle Sadler (25) from Glasgow - is the first kids’ book of its kind and will help young children to understand the concept of Fairtrade products and the ethos and importance of Fair Trade.

St Andrew’s Primary School – a Fairtrade status school in Falkirk – was the venue for the official launch.

Philippa Cochrane, Head of Reader Development at the Scottish Book Trust, said:

“Book Week Scotland is the national celebration of reading, books and writing and at Scottish Book Trust we are delighted that it can provide a platform to launch such a worthwhile project as the Jolly Trolley.  The students of Forth Valley College are to be congratulated on taking their idea through to publication!  This project really chimes with the ethos of Book Week Scotland which is about everyone engaging with the power of books in their own way.  We wish the Jolly Trolley luck on all its future journeys and adventures.”

FVC this week (Tuesday 22 November) won a Scottish Fair Trade Forum Award for Innovation for their work on Jolly Trolley. This award is presented to any individual, group or organisation that has created an innovative campaign or taken a new approach to campaigning for Fair Trade.

The college – in full partnership with the FV Student Association - was the first college in Scotland to attain Fairtrade status in 2011 and campaigns throughout the year to raise awareness of the worthy cause. It recently had its status renewed for the fourth time.

Several departments including Access and Progression, Care, Health and Sport, Hospitality and Salon Services and Business have incorporated elements of the benefits and importance of Fairtrade/Fair Trade into their teaching curriculum over the years.

It was due to these initiatives that a class of HNC Early Education students – who have recently graduated - came up with the idea for the ‘Jolly Trolley’ character who goes on a mystical style learning adventure after he crashes into some Fairtrade bananas in his supermarket. In the coming years, it is hoped that new stories will be created by future FVC Early Education and Childcare classes as part of their course, helping to boost the ‘Jolly Trolley’ and Fairtrade children’s series.

The students involved were: Morag Dunion (36) and Claire McInally (27) both from Alloa, Silke Duncan (29) from Dollar, Zoe Harvey (33) from Bo’ness and Fiona Paterson (36) from Dunfermline. All are now working as supply nursery teachers with Clackmannanshire Council.

Silke, said: “The book is exactly how we imagined it!”

Fiona, said: “I am ecstatic, it is unbelievable!”

Claire, went on: “It is lovely, really good.”

Morag, added: “The illustrations are really child friendly and just what we were going for.”

Jeanette McCulloch, Curriculum Manager in FVC’s Department of Care, Health and Sport, said:

“We as a college are very proud of our Fairtrade status and we are constantly thinking of ways how our skills and expertise can help to promote this worthy cause.

“The Department of Care, Health and Sport already embed the teaching of Fairtrade into the curriculum of our Early Education and Childcare courses - showing pre-school children how to make Fairtrade bird feeders and teaching them about the types of food that is Fairtrade and why it helps farmers and producers in poorer parts of the world, for example.

“The Jolly Trolley idea is just another fantastic concept which has been seized upon by our students and developed and written brilliantly. The story of a supermarket trolley assuming magical powers to travel around the world, finding out about various Fairtrade products, was inspired.

“It was written and illustrated – with fantastic colours and designs by Michelle a student from our Creative Industries Department - with children’s understanding to the fore, as these students themselves will be going out into the childcare industry to use books like this to entertain and educate youngsters for years to come.

“I am sure it will be a valuable tool to teach young children about the importance of Fairtrade products.”

As well as the fun and entertaining story and illustrations, the book contains fun facts about Fairtrade and information on the Scottish Fair Trade Forum and Scotland becoming only the second Fair Trade Nation in the world in 2013. Forth Valley College’s Fairtrade Committee led by Lisa Hachemi and David Gentles, were also instrumental in supporting the development of this initiative.

Martin Rhodes, Chair/Director of the Scottish Fair Trade Forum, who added a foreword to the book, said:

“This book is the result of an impressive and innovative project at Forth Valley College - a story for children about Fair Trade devised and produced by college students as part of their learning. It showcases the wide range of talents and the creativity of the students while providing a practical resource for those engaged in teaching and learning for children.

“Scotland’s status as a Fair Trade nation is seen in projects like this - that Fair Trade is not an added extra. It isn’t something we only do when we have some spare time or resources but it is central to what we do. This book shows that in colleges and schools, Fair Trade is being embedded into the curriculum. There are numerous other examples of how Fair Trade is used in so many different ways across the curriculum at all levels. This project adds a new and exciting initiative.

“Forth Valley College was the first college in Scotland to achieve Fairtrade status and this project shows that its students and staff are still at the forefront of raising awareness and engagement with Fair Trade. I hope that those who read and re-read this book will find it engaging and rewarding and I congratulate everyone at Forth Valley College who contributed to its production.”

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