Mustard video: Baby gorillas swap the wilds of Africa for classrooms in Norfolk
12:27 09 February 2013
From the wilds of Africa to classrooms across Norfolk, some rather unlikely pupils are getting ready for their first day at school.
A troop of baby gorilla sculptures are heading to schools as part of the GoGoGorillas! project organised by children’s charity Break and Wild in Art.
Professional artists have already been busy decorating sculptures of life-size adult apes for the GoGoGorillas! art trail set to take place in Norwich this summer – and the baby gorillas give schoolchildren the chance to join in too.
The aim is to create great art for the whole community to enjoy while raising funds and awareness for Break and the Born Free Foundation.
Yesterday the baby gorillas were gathered at City College Norwich waiting to be picked up by schools.
Break fundraising officer Martin Green said: “In the summer of 2013 the large gorillas will hit the streets of Norwich and alongside that there is our education programme. We are encouraging schools – and also community groups – to get involved in GoGoGorillas! by painting the little gorillas which are replicas of the adult ones. It is a good opportunity for young people to get creative, to understand the plight of gorillas and also what Break is doing as a charity to help young people.”
Fiona Muller, educational coordinator for Wild in Art, said more than 50 schools were already signed up, and there was still time for more schools to take part.
She said: “We have over 50 schools involved so far including the entire Hethersett cluster and schools from Diss, Norwich, north of Norwich, out towards Great Yarmouth and also King’s Lynn. It is a real Norfolk-wide project.
“It is a great chance to be involved in something that gives young people the opportunity to do something a bit different and get their art on display in public so people can see how creative Norfolk young people are, and families will be able to enjoy going around and seeing all the gorillas in the trail this summer.”
Hethersett Junior School is taking part, and headteacher Andy Whittle and three of the school’s pupils were among those picking up gorillas yesterday.
Mr Whittle said: “We wanted to get involved in GoGoGorillas! because it hits a number of areas. There is the environmental part which we consider to be very important. In the past we have been involved in rainforest work and have decorated a rainforest frog which is on display in our library. The creative side is also important. Eight of our pupils are going to design and decorate our gorilla. They are all children who either have an interest in the environment or art and have plenty of ideas.”
Nine-year-old Hethersett Junior pupil Scott Whiting said: “GoGoGorillas! is a good idea because some people might not really know gorillas in the wild are endangered. It is a good idea to get people to think about them and for people to have fun in Norwich finding the gorillas in the trail.”
Fellow pupils Sam Harvey, 10, and Bea Boyce, seven, said they were excited about decorating their gorilla.
Sam said: “I would like a jungle pattern with lots of bananas.”
Schools and community groups wanting to take part should contact Joy Young by calling 01298 812189 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Organisations interested in sponsoring the adult gorillas should contact Martin Green by calling 01603 670107 or emailing email@example.com
There is an event for people to find out more about sponsoring a gorilla at The Space, Roundtree Way, Norwich on February 26 from 4pm until 7pm.