StampNews.com got to know that an exciting initiative designed to spark young islanders' interest in the traditional hobby of stamp collecting was launched by Jersey Post. Two thousand copies of The Collectables, a 36 page activity book and stamp album, will be gifted to schoolchildren aged 8 – 10 across the Island, together with free packets of stamps. The album explores Jersey Post stamp issues across one year with themes including Marine Life, Buried Treasure, Shipwrecks and Conservation and contains spaces for children to stick their stamps, as well as fun facts, colourful illustrations and interactive puzzles.
Jersey Post is keen to highlight the value of this traditional hobby as Rachel MacKenzie, Philatelic Marketing Manager at Jersey Post explains: "Stamp Collecting is one of the world's most popular hobbies and something that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and interests. Stamps can open up a whole new world of culture and knowledge and the educational value for children should not be overlooked. We're always looking for new ways to engage with Islanders and the Collectables is a great way of getting younger audiences talking about stamps, sharing, swapping and, of course, learning at the same time.
"Traditional hobbies such as baking, knitting and crochet have seen a huge revival over recent years and there's no reason why stamp collecting shouldn't follow, Rachel continues. One of the main attractions of stamp collecting is that it's so accessible; it doesn't require any expensive equipment and children can find stamps simply by sorting through mail that arrives at home".
Grouville School is the first primary school to receive their delivery of The Collectables and the albums have been met with a great deal of enthusiasm:
"You're not just sticking in stamps, you're learning too. For example, if you find a famous lady on a stamp and you don't know who she is, you can have a look in the book and it will tell you all about them". Eilidh Bell, Age 10
"I think it's a really good idea because you can meet people you haven't met before by swapping the stamps. You can get together in groups to share the packets of stamps – it's a good way to socialise". Maddie Gott, Age 10
"I like the album because you can share with each other. If you have two of the same stamp and you don't want one, you can swap it. You can read all about it too and learn interesting facts". Connor Freeman, Age 9
"I think the book is full of lots of interesting facts – it is colourful with good illustrations. Every child in Jersey should have one and keep it until they are grown up and share it with their children". Keita Speka, Age 8
The children already have plans for a regular stamp swapping club says Mrs Paul, Deputy Headteacher at Grouville School: "As a Rights Respecting School, we firmly believe in pupil voice and the children make lots of decisions about many aspects of school life. This group of children have come up with the idea of holding a 'Stamp Swap Club'.
Every fortnight they are going to arrange for children to get together to do their stamp swaps and to talk about their books. They are really looking forward to encouraging other children to make new friends. They think it will be a great forum that will teach the younger children how to share and negotiate!"