Children’s book by St Albans author inspires Oaklands College media students to create animated short films
PUBLISHED: 13:31 12 July 2018 | UPDATED: 13:31 12 July 2018
A group of media students at Oaklands College have worked with St Albans-based children’s author Stacey Turner to animate her latest book.
The book, I’m Going to Nursery, aims to help parents gear up for their children’s first day, helping them identify and deal with any feelings of separation anxiety youngsters may experience.
Students were tasked with animating the book, as well as coming up with short video clips with the characters for World Happiness Day, which would eventually feature on Stacey’s website.
A mother of two young daughters, Stacey hopes to help families deal with this trauma, in order to avoid these feelings manifesting into a larger problem as the children get older.
Former teacher Stacey explained her motivations for animating the book: “I wanted to bring it to life, highlighting the key points and subtle help of reassurance and support in helping a young child overcome separation anxiety.”
Film students from the Welwyn Garden City campus also came to record an interview with the students involved, some of which were posted on social media to raise awareness of the project, and Stacey worked with director Aaron Karuthasami to help guide the production for the final edits.
Stacey, who is also an early years specialist, said afterwards: “The animation is wonderful, I loved walking in and seeing my work on the screens, I adored working with the students, I mostly loved watching them grow throughout in gaining more and more confidence to talk. I am so proud of the students and extremely grateful to have had this opportunity and feel humbled that this project has helped the students in ways I truly never expected.
“A massive thank you from me to all of the staff and students!”
Phil Heath, coordinator for multimedia, animation, graphic design and photography courses in Oaklands’ art, fashion and design department , said: “This was a great opportunity for my multimedia and animation students to work on a live brief with Stacey.
“They worked in small production teams to create simple animations for different sections of the book adding sound effects and a voiceover reading of the book.
“Many of the students were also able to identify with the issues raised by the book and found the experience a very rewarding one.”
Stacey said what impressed her most about the students was their ability to talk about their own experiences with anxiety, from early years education to today.
“Each time I visited, the discussions became more open with the students actively talking about their own personal experiences and battles amongst each other and to me and were adamant how important it is to reach out, talk and get help.
“Try not to be afraid they said, otherwise things become a battle rather than a joy, so you must learn these skills to help you through life and it does start from when you are a young child.”
Stacey was already aware of trends in teenage anxiety before she started working with Oaklands College students, as she is an ambassador for The OLLIE Foundation, the local charity devoted to raising awareness of teen suicide.