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News - 6 March 2008
Winners from Somerhill Junior School

Children to create a fresh look for Brighton's Air Street

Air Street is about to get a new look. The creative writing of a group of children will be mounted on the walls of the street. This promises to bring new life to an area that has in the past tended to be badly hit by taggers and graffiti vandals.

In October 2007 Children in Brighton & Hove were invited to create poems and stories around the theme of Air to become a permanent artwork in Air Street in the city centre.

Brighton & Hove Children’s Festival in conjunction with The South, a literary organisation, offered children aged 5-11 in the city the chance to have their stories and poems permanently etched onto pavings, buildings and shop fronts in and around the clock tower area of central Brighton.

500 children from across the city took part in the competition and the standard of the entries was extremely high. A panel of 12 judges, including two junior judges from Patcham Junior School, selected the 5 winners and 10 runners–up on the basis of their originality.

The five winners will see their writing turned into a treasure-hunt style story trail that will remain in the city for years to come. Ten runners–up will also have their work on display for up to three months.

The idea behind the project is to promote writing and literacy skills to primary school children and also to encourage children to engage with the city’s public spaces. The Children’s Festival creates a platform for children’s work across art forms and aims to place the importance of the creativity of children alongside that of adults and artists.

Cllr Vanessa Brown, lead for education in the city, said of the project 'We are thrilled with the amount of interest this project has generated. The quality of the entries was extremely high and this clearly demonstrates a keen interest in poetry and storytelling in our young residents. The next step of the project, is installing the children's work permanently in Air Street, which will celebrate the huge amount of young creative talent we have here in Brighton & Hove and highlight the importance of creativity for children everywhere.'

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