1 July 2020
Watts at home
Box of Delight
Delivering Joy and Wellbeing to Disadvantaged Children at Home
It has been several weeks since schools closed across the country. In Surrey, as elsewhere, too many children lack online access, books or basic resources to help them carry on learning – and the current Covid-19 crisis is placing even more pressure on struggling families and finances.
In response to these challenges, Surrey arts charity Delight, has teamed up with Surrey Primary Schools and arts organisations, Paintbox and Watts Gallery, to create two new crisis response projects to help keep vulnerable children learning and supported. Each Box of Delight will immerse isolated children in art-based learning activities, whilst Bags of Delight will bring reading books to keep and enjoy to children with few books home. Delivered directly to the homes of children who need them most, each Bag or Box of Delight will keep children learning and connected to their schools, as well as bringing hope and happiness at this incredibly challenging time.
A message from Kathryn Mills, Delight CEO:
"Supporting the wellbeing and learning of children in Surrey who are affected by disadvantage during the closure of schools is of paramount importance at Delight.
There is a wealth of new online resources available to help keep children learning at home – but limited practical support for those who lack access to the internet, a printer, or basic resources.
Developing and delivering our intensive arts programmes with Surrey Primary Schools over the past five years has fostered a strong relationship of trust and understanding between Delight and teachers. It is this connection that has meant that, together, we can respond rapidly to the emergency wellbeing and learning needs of the most vulnerable children in our community through our Box of Delight and Bags of Delight projects."
Sarah Lewis, Head Teacher at St Mary's Primary School, Surrey, comments:
“When I picture my most vulnerable children opening their Box of Delight, and finding that it is packed full of activities in which we know they find such solace and comfort, my heart rests easy for the first time since this crisis separated them from school. They deserve the delight this gift will bring. Something truly special, which will help them know that though we are apart, they are not forgotten."
Sarah Jarvis, Learning Curator (Schools, Families, Young People) at Watts Gallery – Artists' Village, adds:
“We are delighted to be part of this wonderful initiative, reaching out to so many local school children who suddenly find themselves learning from home at this unprecedented moment.
Whilst schools are closed, this activity enables us to continue our collaboration with Delight to ensure that, together, we are able to support the learning and well-being of primary school children who may have limited opportunities at home. Although Watts Gallery – Artists' Village is also closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are committed to continuing to serve our communities through the continuation of our Art for All programme that, inspired by our charity's founders, creates access for everyone to the transformative powers of creativity.
“We very much look forward to seeing the children's creations and extending an invitation to visit us with their families in the future!"
Designed to support children aged 7-11 affected by disadvantage or other vulnerability, Box of Delight is inspired by the successful 'Delight in Watts' in-school project, proven to improve children's learning and wellbeing outcomes.
All images © Delight
If you enjoy these Watts at home activities, please consider supporting Watts Gallery Trust, our independent charity.
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