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Mini elephants to brighten up classrooms at Suffolk schools in run up to St Elizabeth Hospice art trail Elmer’s Big Parade

PUBLISHED: 18:36 25 January 2018 | UPDATED: 18:42 25 January 2018

Agatha and Evelyn having fun with Elmer.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Agatha and Evelyn having fun with Elmer. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Pint-sized Elmer the elephants decorated by school pupils are set to brighten up classrooms in the run up to a St Elizabeth Hospice art trail tipped to rival the success of Pigs Gone Wild.

Sue North, Sarah Hodge and Emma Maddison from Hillside Primary School.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNSue North, Sarah Hodge and Emma Maddison from Hillside Primary School. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Dozens of people gathered at Trinity Park tonight as hospice chiefs launched the educational element of Elmer’s Big Parade, which is due to come to Suffolk next year.

The art trail, being rolled out across Ipswich next summer, will feature 50 Elmer the Elephant painted sculptures and aims to build on the success of 2016 event Pigs Gone Wild, which brought in more than 250,000 visitors and contributed over £1million to the regional economy.

This evening the hospice, alongside partners Wild in Art and Elmer publishers Andersen Press, said an education and youth programme attached to the parade is open to all schools and youth groups in Suffolk.

Wild in Art director Sally-Ann Wilkinson said: “David McKee’s beloved Elmer promotes positive messages about inclusivity, courage and friendship.

Guests come up with some ideas at the launch of Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk education and youth programme.    Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNGuests come up with some ideas at the launch of Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk education and youth programme. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“By bringing a 3D Elmer canvas into your classroom or club, it offers young people the opportunity to use arts and creativity to make their voices heard on these important issues.

“The learning outcomes demonstrated in schools, communities and visualised on the trail of ‘young Elmers’ will provide a unique insight into the aspirations, hopes, and dreams of future generations in Suffolk.”

Bosses said that with the trail being run with Elmer’s publisher, there are even more opportunities for educational involvement.

Paul Black from Andersen Press added: “We can’t wait to see how teachers and pupils use this very special sculpture to bring Elmer’s messages about friendship and celebrating differences to life.

Launch of Elmer's education programme in Suffolk.  L-R Mik Richardson, Norman Lloyd, Annie Laughrin and Nikki Brown.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNLaunch of Elmer's education programme in Suffolk. L-R Mik Richardson, Norman Lloyd, Annie Laughrin and Nikki Brown. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“The programme and its resource booklet will be jam-packed with ideas to engage and empower young people using Elmer.”

According to hospice chiefs the education programme is integrated with Key Stages 1 and 2 and contains a resource booklet including classroom guides, lesson plans and ideas.

Each group that takes part will be given a young Elmer sculpture to decorate in exchange for a pledge to raise £750 for the hospice over the next 18 months.

The aim is to have a herd of 100 of the smaller ‘young Elmers’ which will become part of the main trail in 2019.


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