Saturday 02 August 2014
An education programme backed by funds from the Premier League and delivered by Newcastle United has helped thousands of schoolchildren in the North East to get into the learning of history.
"Toon Times" uses the power of football to improve the literacy and learning techniques of children by using historic artefacts and props and re-enacting famous Newcastle United moments.
"So many children have told us how fun and interesting they found the history lessons"
During the last season more than 4,750 schoolchildren in 63 schools have learnt about the 122-year history of Newcastle United, of whom many have been behind the scenes at St James' Park or taken part in learning activities at the Discovery Museum in Newcastle, where the the "Toon Times" exhibition has been held. Since it was opened in February 2014, more than 200,000 people have visited the exhibition, which runs until October this year.
Alongside the school programme, 157 children and their parents or carers were invited to be part of the "My First Match" initiative, which gives families who might not otherwise have the chance to go to a football match, their first matchday experience.
"Feedback from teachers about Toon Times has been exceptional," Gavin Ferry, the project co-ordinator from Newcastle United Foundation, said. "So many children have told us how fun and interesting they found the history lessons."
As well as funds from the Premier League, the Foundation's Toon Times project gets financial help from First Class Supply, a local teaching agency, and Heritage Lottery Fund and it is delivered in partnership with Tyne and Wear Archives & Museums.
"Supporting the Toon Times project enables First Class to offer tremendous opportunities to our partner schools," Lesley Robinson, founder and director of First Class Supply, said. "We get amazing feedback from students from across the region who are delighted by their visits from Newcastle United Foundation.
"The families from Mountfield Primary were thrilled by their first match experience and are still talking about it. We are very proud and happy to be involved with this fantastic charitable initiative."