Three of Caerphilly’s Welsh-medium schools have embarked on an exciting project under the Arts Council of Wales’ Creative Collaborations programme (TwLetteratura Caerffili).
Year 5 pupils and teachers from Ysgolion Cwm Gwyddon, Penalltau and Trelyn will spend the next three terms exploring a new Italian app (Betwyll) that helps nurture young people’s enjoyment of reading by providing an online reading platform and social networking alongside a hard copy of the book.
To start, the schools will be focusing on the book “Rugby Zombies / Sombis Rygbi to test how the reading app works in bilingual communities, working with the author Dan Anthony and Welsh rap poet Rufus Mufasa. Later they will be learning all about how books get published, assisted by publishing house Gomer, an illustrator and a translator, and collaborate in the development of a new Welsh version of a book, currently only available in English.
Along the way they will be sharing their new way of social reading with other young people and will be inventing new ways of using the app to “read” other media that don’t involve text – such as their environment, pictures in a gallery or museum artefacts.
The pupils hope that the project will help them improve their use of Welsh online and outside of the school grounds. Also, they want to find interesting ways of supporting Welsh learning for non-Welsh speakers.
The TwLetteratura Caerffili project has been co-ordinated by Valleys-based community arts organisation, Head4Arts who has drawn together the team of expert organisations supporting the project. These include the Italian partners Pierluigi Vaccaneo and Micol Doppio from Associazione Cultura Twitteratura & Betwyll, and representatives from Menter Iaith Caerffili and Literature Wales.
Creative Project manager Kate Strudwick said:
“This is a very ambitious project involving many partners – all of whom are passionate about reading and wanting to find ways of helping people share a love of books – in whatever language they prefer. We also want young people to be really inventive about how they use this learning tool in the future. I hope that our explorations will help many others, both here in Wales and in other bilingual nations.”