Children at two Tendring primary schools have received art packs as part of an initiative from the Royal Opera House Bridge.
The Let’s Create packs, including a sketch pad, colouring pencils, and paints and brushes, have been given to more than 300 pupils at Brightlingsea Junior School and Mayflower Primary School, Dovercourt.
Funded by Arts Council England, through the Royal Opera House Bridge project, an arts education outreach programme, Tendring District Council (TDC) also added £1,000 of funding to expand the scheme locally.
Sarah Waterman, Royal Opera House Bridge Programme Manager Essex, said: “We are really pleased to be working with TDC in this way to ensure children have access to equipment and inspiring resources that will enable them to have a creative outlet at this strange and difficult time.
“Creativity is not just important for children's skills development but also for good mental health as children need to have an outlet to express and make sense of their feelings right now. Arts activities can help children work through their problems and find ways of coping.”
Lynda McWilliams, TDC Cabinet Member for Partnerships, said the packs helped to support budding young artists.
“Many children won’t have the resources at home for art projects, especially painting, so these packs will be really useful to unlock their creativity,” Councillor McWilliams said.
“At a time when education has been so disrupted by Covid-19, teachers and children have had it tough enough to keep up with basics such as English and maths – so this scheme really helps to support creative subjects too.”
Zoe Witherington, Art Co-ordinator at Brightlingsea Junior School, said: “The art packs have made a huge difference to many of our children. They have helped make creativity accessible for all children and provided the opportunity to use art to support the children's wellbeing which is of huge importance now more than ever.
“The children were thrilled with the variety of quality equipment they now have at their fingertips and could not wait to get creating.”
Lauren Timms, from Mayflower Primary School, said: “We are incredibly grateful to have been able to receive the art packs for our children from the Arts Council. These fantastic resources will extend the opportunity for our children to enjoy stimulating and creative activities in their own homes, as well as at school.”
Find out more about the Royal Opera House Bridge at www.roh.org.uk/learning/royal-opera-house-bridge.