New dawn for Isle of Man Children’s University

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The Isle of Man Children’s University is all set for a new dawn.

An exciting era beckons now that Connect2Charity has stepped in following the government’s announcement that it would have to wind down its involvement in the scheme due to budgetary pressures.

The final graduation ceremony under the auspices of the Department of Education and Children has taken place, but children in the Isle of Man can still take advantage of the Passport to Learning that the Children’s University offers now that Connect2Charity has stepped in.

Connect2Charity’s involvement in the running of the Isle of Man Children’s University has been welcomed by Children’s University Trust chief executive Helen O’Donnell, who travelled to the Isle of Man recently.

‘We are delighted that Connect2Charity has become involved with the Isle of Man Children’s University,’ she said. ‘The whole aim of the Children’s University concept is to improve the lives of children.’
The trust is the umbrella operation that oversees the branding and quality control of Children’s University centres in a number of regions.

The Children’s University offers five to 14-year-olds the chance to discover a wide range of activities that are available outside the normal school day. Pupils buy a passport and obtain learning stamps by visiting validated Learning Destinations, both in the Isle of Man and in other regions where a Children’s University operates.
After building up stamps at the accredited destinations, children are invited to a graduation ceremony to celebrate their achievement.

The ethos is to raise aspiration, boost achievement and foster a love of learning.

An important principle of the Children’s University is that participation is voluntary and it is intentionally something other than school – with a different feel, different activities and often taking part in a different location.

There are more than 90 registered Children’s University centres, stretching around the world, meaning that children in the Isle of Man will be connected to an international network.

New Isle of Man operator Connect2Charity runs the Island’s largest register of charities and operates the Family Library and the Mobile Family Library. It is also a primary sponsor of the Isle of Man Flower Festival.

Kurt Roosen, chairman of Connect2Charity, said: ‘This is a very exciting time for everyone involved in the Isle of Man Children’s University.

‘At the recent graduation ceremony, I was approached by parents and children who expressed their delight that the scheme would continue.

‘We are now looking forward to examining how we can expand upon the services on offer at the Isle of Man Children’s University.’

He added: ‘This is a great opportunity for businesses, cultural organisations and the operators of sports clubs and leisure facilities to team up and help our children to achieve their potential with independent learning.

‘By mixing with different people and learning in a variety of environments, children have a chance to develop their confidence and increase their social skills. The aim is to enrich their lives.’

Work has already begun to take advantage of the skills in the Manx ICT Association’s Code Club to replace paper passports with virtual backpacks and merit badges in the UK.

Anyone wishing to sign up to become an accredited Learning Destination should contact Tracy Wright at the Isle of Man Children’s University at +441624 827030.

Businesses wishing to sponsor the scheme should contact Kurt Roosen at kurt.roosen@connect2charity.im or by phone at +44 1624 827030.