27 Sept 2022

County Derry author helps deliver climate change message in schools

The Maghera writer has teamed up with Eco-Schools and Twinkl for the venture.

County Derry author helps deliver climate change message in schools

Yvonne Fleming, author of The Weatherbies, has teamed up with Eco-Schools and Twinkl.

A County Derry author has launched a partnership that hopes to bring the climate change message into our local schools.

Maghera based author of the children’s book series The Weatherbies, Yvonne Fleming is pleased to announce a hugely exciting partnership with Eco-Schools and the leading teaching resource provider, Twinkl to deliver environmental awareness to young people in classrooms across Northern Ireland for Early Years, Foundation and Key Stage 1 pupils.

The partnership is the first of its kind in the UK & Ireland and will offer pupils the opportunity to learn about climate change through animation and song from The Weatherbies children’s stories and characters, with teacher and pupil access to fun and interactive online learning resources produced by Twinkl, which will be available in both English and Irish.

The Weatherbies are a collection of stories based on a community of loveable weather themed characters including Sammy Sun, Rosie Rainbow, Colin Cloud, Flo Snow, Ronny Rain, Willy Wind and many more, designed to entertain, excite and educate children, with striking visual imagery, original captivating music and intuitive narrative. 

The characters both encourage and enjoy recycling, eating healthily, growing fruit and vegetables, reading books, using renewable energy, such as solar and wind power. 

The Weatherbies promote a blue-sky thinking ethos, helping to comfort children, reduce anxieties and fears they might have in today’s ever climate changing world. 

The concept will inspire children to look up to the sky, see and feel the weather as a friend. One that can both nurture and be nurtured.

The partnership with Eco-schools and Twinkl will encourage children to be more aware of climate change and how we can all play our own part in protecting the world around us.

Yvonne pictured with children from St Brigid's PS Tirkane/Bunscoil Naomh Bríd this week.
Yvonne Fleming, Author of The Weatherbies said she was 'delighted' to partner with Eco-Schools and Twinkl.
"I feel it is a great opportunity to work with them to help educate children on environmental awareness, something we all feel is so important to teach children about," she said.

"When we started working with Eco-Schools it was brilliant for me to hear that they felt The Weatherbies was the perfect fit for them in helping bring fun lessons to children, and with Twinkl’s excellent work, I feel that these lessons will be really engaging for the children and help them understand the world around them more.

"I look forward to what the future holds with our partnership as we continue to educate children on how to look after our environment and make a difference.
Charlene McKeown, Eco-Schools Manager at Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful said they were 'huge fans' of the Weatherbies books.
"It is with great excitement that we enter into this partnership at the start of a new school year," she said.

"Intertwining with our already blossoming relationship with Twinkl, the partnership will ensure that fantastic educational literature is matched by brilliant teaching and learning materials, to give schools much-needed resources to teach climate change awareness at an appropriate level to our youngest learners.”
Susan Ferguson, Twinkl said they were 'extremely excited to add The Weatherbies to their existing partnership with Eco-Schools.
"At Twinkl, we believe in supporting educators and in helping those who teach," she said.

"With these fantastic resources, we will be providing vital material to teachers across the country, enabling them to promote environmental awareness in their young learners.

"We believe with The Weatherbies resources at hand, teachers will feel empowered. They will have the confidence to tackle difficult topics regarding climate change in their classrooms.

"We are very excited to see these resources in use and to see how beneficial they are for our young learners. "

Yvonne Fleming also said having her books translated into Irish was a 'long-time goal'.
"When I was going around the primary schools, I would be frequently asked if I would translate my books, and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, she said.

"I’m really excited that we are able to develop both our online content and Twinkl’s teaching resources in Irish alongside the English versions.”  
For more information on The Weatherbies, please visit the website.

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