To launch the new partnership, Boots called in the help of children from Blue Bell Hill School in St Ann’s and Robin Hood himself to join an interactive storytelling session in Boots Victoria Centre.
Boots has been at the heart of Nottingham’s community for almost 170 years, and is partnering Hoodwinked to help launch and run the education and learning element, called Robin’s Tales, throughout summer 2018. The programme will bring the Robin Hood legend to life in the city’s primary schools offering thousands of children novel literacy and art activities around the legendary stories.
Hoodwinked will also inspire Nottingham schools to decorate bespoke BookBenches, which will be displayed as part of the sculpture trail throughout the summer, and will then be returned to the schools as a permanent reminder of their involvement in Hoodwinked. Boots is also working with Hoodwinked to provide each school taking part with an education pack filled with creative ideas and rich learning resources aligned to both the National Curriculum and Arts Award, and including heritage material from the Boots archive.
Elizabeth Fagan, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Boots, comments:
“To read and learn is one of life’s great pleasures, and it’s something that we believe that every person should have the opportunity to enjoy. Boots has a long standing commitment to improving literacy and access to reading for all. In the 1890s, Florence Boot created the Book Lovers’ Libraries in Boots stores before public libraries were common, so partnering Robin’s Tales is a fitting way of continuing and honouring her legacy. We’re looking forward to working in partnership with Hoodwinked, and hope that the BookBenches will be a lasting place for children to enjoy and discover stories and new literary heroes for many years to come.”
Councillor Dave Trimble, Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture, said:
“We are thrilled to be working with Boots on a programme that aims to instil a love of reading and an opportunity to create a piece of art for public display. The company has been a benefactor to the city of Nottingham since the days of Jesse and Florence Boot, and I am delighted that it has now given its wholehearted support to this programme, which will touch the lives of many city children and their families. I look forward to seeing a host of wonderful BookBenches on display in libraries and other public places this summer.”
Councillor Sam Webster, Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Business, Education and Skills, said:
“Robin’s Tales will be an exciting initiative for our primary schools this summer and one that will have long-lasting benefits for children’s literacy and enjoyment of the arts. It’s a magical opportunity for children to discover local tales and legends and to be inspired to design a unique BookBench to be proudly displayed in the community and then to be treasured in school. Thanks to Boots’ support, many more children will be able to enjoy taking part.”
Hoodwinked is led by Nottingham City Council in partnership with Wild in Art, a leading creative producer of spectacular free public art events through the creation of uniquely-painted sculptures.
The BookBenches will complement a trail of around 30 decorated robin sculptures that will be on display in the city from July to September, each sponsored by a business. The sculptures are all based on an identical mould but each one will be unique, designed and painted by an artist.
Money will be raised for the Hoodwinked charity partner, Nottinghamshire Hospice, with an auction of the sculptures in October 2018.