The achievements of 125 children from 30 local schools have been recognised at the York Children’s University Graduation ceremony.
The children aged 5-14 have completed between 30 and 530 hours of extra-curricular activity as part of the Children’s University Passport-to-Learning scheme led by employee-volunteering charity York Cares.
Professor Matt Matravers hosted the ceremony at the University of York, whilst the Rt Hon, the Lord Mayor of York, Cllr Sonja Crisp, assisted him in awarding the children with their scrolls.
The young learners have taken part in fun and innovative experiences at museums, libraries, city attractions, music and sports clubs, as well as working with local businesses that bring the real world to life.
Boosting their aspirations
Holly Hennell, Acting Manager, York Cares, said:
We’ve had two ‘Law and Justice’ days hosted by North Yorkshire Police where pupils stage a mock trail, Robots in Space workshops led by physics students from University of York for children to create their own curiosity rovers, and a family ‘mini-beasts’ workshops led by Flamingo Land.
Looking forward, we are delighted to be working on new modules with John Lewis and First Bus, and York St John will host a new Summer Festival.
This festival will recognise children who have gone on to reach their next award levels, and showcase opportunities for them to try new activities and continue to develop new skills.
Local theatre school Razzamataz York kicked off the evening’s celebration with a musical theatre routine showcasing the energy and enthusiasm of children involved with the scheme.
Eliza Hunton, a University of York student volunteer, performed a reading of Oh, the places you’ll go by Dr Seuss to capture York CU’s aim of encouraging a sense of curiosity and excitement about the world.
Eliza worked with pupils from St Barnabas Primary this year to deliver a York CU Retail Module where children designed their own shops.
Elizabeth Wright, Paralympic champion, author and motivational speaker, shared her inspirational story of reaching her goals.
She said: “When I was asked to be the guest speaker at the York Children’s University Graduation Ceremony I could only say yes! To see the amazing work they do with children, to help build their confidence and vision for their futures, it resonates with my own goals to help children see and fulfil their potential.”
York CU is led and managed by York Cares under the umbrella of the national Children’s University Trust.
It is a national scheme which seeks to inspire children aged 5–14 by taking them to new places with the aim of raising aspirations, boosting achievement and fostering a love of learning.
Children collect stickers in a Passport for each hour of extra-curricular learning they undertake.