We are very grateful to the The Arts Society, Dartmouth and Kingswear for sponsoring this project.
This is a collaborative project between 5 primary schools in Dartmouth and the surrounding area, and involves around 70 children in years 5 and 6. Each school will write and illustrate a different section of the Mayflower journey – background history, escape to and life in Leiden, Holland to Dartmouth on the Speedwell, life in Dartmouth, Dartmouth to America, settling in to new colony, one year later – Thanksgiving. Their stories will be based on an actual group of Mayflower passengers that will represent each leg of the journey.
Groups of children will work on their section of the story with illustrations, with support from volunteers. A storyteller – Katy Cawkwell – will perform The Mayflower Story to all the pupils in early September 2019, and this will provide an inspirational starting point for the children’s writing and illustrations, and a local author will be sought to write an introduction.
Once the children’s work has been collated, the layout will be done by Plymouth College of Art students in preparation for printing.
The published books will be on sale at various venues in the town by Easter 2020, and possibly also in other Mayflower 400 destinations.
Learning about the way of life in the 1600s and what it must have been like when the Mayflower and Speedwell visited Dartmouth as well as on board the ship, is an important part of the project. We aim to provide children with rich learning opportunities, such as visits, and a celebration day as a broader part of this project.
The second phase of this project will be to produce an audio version of the book for those children with visual impairments or learning difficulties.
This version will be created using actors and atmospheric sounds, and the audio file will be added to the book version.