News & Events

Top marks for Borehamwood teacher’s story in national competition Shayna Evans wins Munch Time story writing competition

A newly-wed trainee teacher from Borehamwood has won this year’s national Munch Time children’s story writing competition.  Shayna Evans scoops the £1000 cash prize for her story ‘Here Comes the Airplane!’ which won following a public vote.


 


The rhyming tale for pre-schoolers features a fussy Munch the Cow who won’t eat and is the perfect read for parents wanting to encourage their own fussy eaters to enjoy a more varied diet.


 


Shayna, aged 29, said: “This is so exciting! I never dreamt that my story would actually win - it is as surreal as a mad hatter's tea party! I hope to write more children's stories in the future. I’m absolutely delighted!


 


The competition, by Munch Bunch® yogurts, is in its fifth year and is supported by the National Literacy Association. It aims to highlight and celebrate the importance of stories and creative time between young children and parents, and gives amateur writers the opportunity to shine.  A previous Munch Time winning author subsequently secured a publishing deal and has established a successful career in writing.


 


As well as winning the top cash prize, Shayna’s story will be professionally illustrated and turned into a book. A further three runners up win £500 each and the top 10 stories in the competition, selected by an expert judging panel, and put forward for a public vote can be enjoyed at www.munchtime.co.uk.


 


Munch Time judge and chair of the National Literacy Association, Ray Barker, says:


"We congratulate Shayna on her winning story which is not only fun and engaging for children, but also a valuable tool for parents with fussy eaters. Stories are powerful resources that should be celebrated and enjoyed from an early age and the Munch Time story writing competition is a great initiative that encourages this.”



Date Added: Thu 12th September 2013

Press Release: Friday 22nd February: Munch Time

                                Having children makes us more creative! 


                       But parents worry about being entertaining!



As the half-term holiday draws to a close, new research reveals 50% of parents in the UK feel that creativity for both themselves and children has improved as a result of having a young family. Yet more than 8 out of 10 of parents in the UK admit to struggling to entertain their children. Over 70% either run out of ideas, say they are too tired or too stressed. Almost a quarter (23%) admit they can find it boring being creative with their children. 

However the 'Munch Time Creative Awakening Survey' - commissioned by yogurt brand Munch Bunch® - has uncovered a creative outlet that benefits both parent and child. According to the survey, more than quarter of parents harbour ambitions to write a children's story and the annual Munch Time Story Writing Competition, live from 22nd February, is a window to put pen to paper and maybe even kick start a new career! Inspired by the successes of writers such as J.K Rowling and Julia Donaldson, the survey found that the number one creative career choice aimed at children, among parents, is being a children's author:
1. Children’s author (31% of Mums, 25% Dads)
2. Children's fashion designer (26% of Mums, 18% of Dads)
3. Children's entertainer (16% of Mums, 23% of Dads)
4. Children's artist (18% of Mums and Dads)
5. Children's TV/film scriptwriter (16% of Mums and Dads)

Actress and mum-of-two Tamzin Outhwaite is supporting the Munch Time campaign and encouraging anyone with a tale to tell to put pen to paper and create their own children’s story, inspired by Munch the cow.
She said:“Making up stories for your children is a lovely bonding activity for parents and children alike. My eldest daughter Florence likes nothing better than starring in her own special story and we often share stories as a family in our household - we especially like singing them too!”

In its fifth year the annual Munch Time children's story writing competition is supported by the National Literacy Association. Comments the charity's Chair and Munch Time judge Ray Barker: "We want parents to help foster a love of stories with their children as early as possible. It's been proved time and time again that children who are introduced to the joy of sharing books and stories at an early age will be at an advantage when they start school. Making reading fun is so important too and the great thing with Munch Time is that parents can either enter the competition or simply use it to gather great stories to read with and entertain their young children."

The Munch Time survey also found that Dad finds it hardest to dedicate quality time to creative play. Half of parents polled said Mums are the most hands-on, followed by grandparents (19%), then Dad (12%).

According to Andrew Watson, parenting expert, author of 'Teach Yourself: Be A Great Dad' and father of two, creativity is one of the most valuable skills parents can impart to their children and dads can play a key role. He explains: "Anyone can work hard; what sets apart the truly successful is their level of creativity." Andrew, who is on the Munch Time story writing judging panel, added: "Sitting down with your child and creating a unique story just for them offers enormous benefits to both parent and child. It's a great way to explore children's feelings, expectations and concerns. Stories offer nothing less than a rehearsal for life."

For further information on entering the Munch Time story writing competition visit: www.munchtime.co.uk.  Munch Time Ireland also launches at the same time: www.munchtimeireland.ie

                                                                 -Ends-

For further research findings, case studies and interviews with Tamzin Outhwaite, Andrew Watson or Ray Barker,
please contact:katie.mclean@buttonpr.com 07787 537705
sara.jensen@buttonpr.com 07812 339313



Notes to editors:·
Research was conducted in December 2012 by Onepoll.
1,000 Mums and Dads, throughout the UK, with children aged 2-5 years old were polled·
The Munch Bunch® brand is rooted in British children’s story telling traditions - The Munch Bunch® story books were first authored in 1979 by Giles Reed· The Munch Time story writing competition is in its fifth year 
· Previous winners have subsequently secured publishing deals and established successful careers in writing.
Contact Button PR for further details

Regional Munch Time Survey highlights
· Parents living in the South West are the most likely to say they have become less creative since becoming a parent - a third (34%)
· Londoners are the most likely to have got more creative (59%)
· Those living in the South West (29%) and Scotland (28%) are most likely to state 'a lack of ideas' as the reason for not participating in creative activities for themselves 
· Parents living in the West Midlands are the most enthusiastic about being a children's author - 40% would choose this as the perfect creative outlet aimed at children
· Parents living in the North East are the most confident - almost a third at 32% say they 'never run out of ideas' for being creative with their children
· Parents in London are the most likely to admit finding it a struggle to keep their children entertained - 12% find it challenging 'all of the time' 
· Mums living in Yorkshire & Humberside are the most likely to spend time getting creative with their children (62%), Mums least likely to do so live in London (43%)
· The only region in which grandparents weren’t mooted as being the second most likely to make time for creative play with the children was in Scotland: here carers (eg, a child minder) came in at no. 2 (16%), following Mum. At No. 3 is Dad, with grandparents at No. 4
Date Added: Fri 22nd February 2013

Press Release (Release date: Mon 7th January)

FWA AGREES CHARITABLE LINK-UP WITH NATIONAL LITERACY ASSOCIATION

Date Added: Mon 7th January 2013

Press Release: Dreams Can Come True!

Last week, one boy's dream came true. 11 year old Ethan McGarry from Dublin is a huge Manchester City fan. In the summer he entered a competition run by the National Literacy Association to design a T-shirt on the theme of Dreams and Aspirations for the new clothing line launched by Manchester City's Joleon Lescott and by Jordan Stewart. The prize was to see the design in the shops and to meet Joleon Lescott and join him for a training session. Well, Ethan McGarry won that prize and last week, he had the trip of a lifetime!


Firstly, he and his parents went to the match and saw Manchester City beat Swansea 1- 0. Then the following day, although disappointingly the Man City training session was cancelled at the last moment, Joleon made up for it by presenting Ethan with a pair of his new boots and the shirt he'd worn in the Swansea match, showing him around the Man City state-of-the-art, high tech training complex and introducing Ethan to some of his team mates including Carlos Tevez and YaYa Toure. Then on Monday, Ethan was given a personal tour of the Manchester City Stadium . This included behind-the-scenes of the changing rooms - he tried out all the seats of his favourite players! - and the warm-up area underneath the main stand at the Etihad where Ethan took great delight at hitting the crossbar in the crossbar challenge. Any football scouts watching?


Ethan's dad Derek said: ' This has been a fantastic experience for Ethan. He was so excited to win the Aspire Attire! competition. Ethan is dyslexic and works hard to overcome his difficulties with reading and writing. However, he is also very creative and this prize has been such a great reward for the time, effort and thought he put into his design. We can't wait to see it go into production.'


Joleon Lescott added: 'It's been great meeting Ethan. His design is so colourful and imaginative. It jumped out at me straightaway. Perhaps I identified with it so readily because, like Ethan, I struggled at school too and feel I'm just so fortunate to be living my dream. I wanted to include a T-shirt in my clothing line that put out a really positive message about believing in yourself no matter what. We all loved Ethan's design and will be very proud to have it as part of our collection.'


Ray Barker, Chair of the National Literacy Association continued: ' We are delighted to be working with LescottStewart. The Aspire Attire! competition sits very closely with the ethos of the NLA : we believe that the vast majority of children can and will achieve with the right belief, encouragement, practical support and expectation. We had a great response to Aspire Attire! but Ethan's entry did stand out. We're delighted with the design and are looking forward to seeing lots of people wearing it!'


Proceeds from sales of the Aspire Attire! T-shirt will go to the National Literacy Association to support their work with and for children who, for whatever reason, struggle to acquire the basic skills of reading, writing and communication in all its forms.


................................Ends........................................



Date Added: Fri 9th November 2012

Press Release: 11 Year Old's Design Suits Joleon Lescott to a T!


There will soon be a brand new T-shirt joining LescottStewart, the clothing line launched by Manchester City's Joleon Lescott and by Jordan Stewart. Ethan McGarry who is 11 years old and comes from Dublin has won the 'Aspire Attire!' competition run by the National Literacy Association to design a T-shirt with a logo or caption on the theme of 'Dreams and Aspirations'. The winner of the competition not only has the satisfaction of seeing their design in the shops but also gets to meet Joleon Lescott and join him for a training session.



Ethan's Dad, Derek, said: 'Ethan is so excited to win the competition. He's a huge Man City fan so to meet Joleon and take part in a training session is a dream come true for him. Ethan is dyslexic and works hard to tackle challenges with reading and writing. However, he is also very creative. Winning this competition shows what you can achieve even if you have obstacles to overcome.'


Joleon Lescott added: ' We were just so impressed with Ethan's design. I struggled at school myself and feel I'm just so fortunate to be living my dream. I wanted to include a T-shirt in my clothing line that put out a really positive message about believing in yourself no matter what. Ethan's design is colourful and so imaginative. We all loved it and will be very proud to have it as part of our collection.'


Ray Barker, Chair of the National Literacy Association continued: ' We are delighted to be working with LescottStewart. The Aspire Attire! competition sits very closely with the ethos of the NLA : we believe that the vast majority of children can and will achieve with the right belief, encouragement, practical support and expectation. We had a great response to Aspire Attire! but Ethan's entry did stand out. We're delighted with the design and can't wait to see lots of people wearing it!'


Ethan will be meeting up with Joleon for a training session at Manchester City's ground on Friday 29th October. The Aspire Attire! tee-shirt will go into production following meetings between Ethan and the LescottStewart design team. Proceeds from sales of the T-shirt will go to the National Literacy Association to support their work with and for children who, for whatever reason, struggle to acquire the basic skills of reading, writing and communication in all its forms.


Date Added: Thu 25th October 2012

Aspire Attire! Winner

Hi Everyone!

We have a winner for our Apire Attire competition. Ethan McGarry aged 11 from Dublin. Well done Ethan!
Date Added: Wed 18th July 2012

Aspire Attire deadline has passed!

We are no longer accepting entries for our Aspire Attire! competition with Joleon Lescott. We've had a lovely response to it with some great designs coming from young people all over the country. We are sure Joleon will end up with a fabulous tee-shirt for his clothing collection. Thank you to everyone who took part. The winning design will be announced in July. Oh ...and congratulations Joleon on scoring the first goal for England in Euro 2012!

Date Added: Wed 13th June 2012

A chance to Win a Training Session with Manchester City's Joleon Lescott!

A Dream of a Tee Shirt for Joleon Lescott's New Clothing Line:


A chance to Win a Training Session with Manchester City's Joleon Lescott!


With Manchester City winning the Premier League, Joleon Lescott is fulfilling his dreams. Now he wants you to reach for your dreams. Joleon Lescott, England and Premier League football player, together with Millwall's Jordan Stewart, have launched a new clothing line The LescottStewart range of super cool and stylish casual wear will soon include a very special tee-shirt. In partnership with the National Literacy Association, LescottStewart has launched a competition - Aspire Attire! - for young people to design a tee-shirt on the theme of dreams and aspirations for the LS label.


To enter, students aged 11-16 are asked to design their own tee-shirt incorporating a logo or slogan on the theme of dreams and aspirations, with the winning design being made up by Lescott’s new clothing brand, LescottStewart. The competition will run until 8th June, with the winner announced in July. The winning tee-shirt design will be in the High Street in the Autumn. In addition to seeing their design in the shops, the winner will also have the opportunity to attend a training session with the centre-back, who helped Manchester City win the FA Cup final in May 2011.


The NLA is a national charity that works in partnership with a range of organisations and associations to promote awareness of and support children’s literacy needs. Lescott is dyslexic. He explains why the NLA is a charity close to his heart, "Throughout my childhood I suffered from dyslexia so I know exactly the kind of struggle too many kids face when learning to read and write at school. That's why, when we were looking for a charity partner for our new LescottStewart clothing brand, the National Literacy Association was the perfect choice."


"Through our tie-in and the Aspire Attire! competition, I want children to realise there should be no barriers to fulfilling their dreams. I've been very fortunate in my life and career and through the relationship with the NLA, I want to encourage as many kids as possible to realise their potential too."


Ray Barker, Chair of the NLA, added: 'We are really pleased to be working with LescottStewart on Aspire Attire! The poor literacy of a significant number of students entering secondary education has once again been in the news. However, this is not news. Britain has a long-standing literacy problem. Those children who struggle with reading and writing, for whatever reason, have very specific and individual needs. No one method or approach to reading will suit every child. We need a variety of strategies to support children's literacy and to help them develop a love of reading. That's why Aspire Attire! aims to be accessible and appealing to a really wide range of young people. Their Aspire Attire! design can be a logo, a slogan or a picture; they can incorporate text speak, traditional wording, symbols or a combination of all of these. They can enter online or send their design through the post. Whatever works for them is fine with us. We just want them to let their imagination and creativity run free!'


To learn more about and to enter Aspire Attire! go to www.nlaguide.co.uk/aspire-attire.


 

Date Added: Tue 15th May 2012

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