Kumon sponsors Mary Poppins Book Bench in support of National Literacy Trust
The National Literacy Trust is working with Wild in Art to bring Books about Town to the streets of London.
Trails of benches shaped as open books, decorated by professional illustrators and local artists, have been installed for the public to enjoy throughout July and August.
"It is a unique opportunity to explore the capital's literary connections, to enjoy art from some of the country's top artists and to celebrate reading for enjoyment", say Kumon, the UK's largest supplementary education provider, who offer Maths and English study programmes for children of all ages and abilities.
As part of the Kumon Summer Festival of Reading and to further support its CSR partner, Kumon have sponsored a Mary Poppins themed bench, placed outside St Paul's Cathedral, highlighting a book that features in the Kumon Recommended Reading List and English programme worksheets.
Darel Seow, an illustration student studying at Central St Martins College of Art and Design, designed the bench and has created an illustration to capture the passage from Kumon worksheet level D, where the children first get a glimpse of Mary Poppins:
"As soon as the shape was inside the gate the wind seemed to catch her up into the air and fling her at the house. It was as though it had flung her first at the gate, waited for her to open it, and then had lifted and thrown her, bag and all, at the front door. The watching children heard a terrific bang, and as she landed the whole house shook. 'How funny! I've never seen that happen before', said Michael. 'Let's go and see who it is!', said Jane, and taking Michael's arm she drew him away from the window, through the Nursery and out on to the landing".
Designer Darel Seow commented: "It's always a joy to design when it comes to learning – to have the ability to incorporate fun into education. I thoroughly enjoyed working on the bench, illustrating Jane and Michael's magical first encounter with Mary Poppins as she is carried by the wind, followed by the amazing adventures they share together. It's also amazing to bring everyone's favourite nanny to life and right beside St Paul's too!"
On Sunday, 6th July Mary Poppins herself visited the bench and gave away fifty copies of the literary classic Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers at 11am as well as another fifty books as part of the sponsorship activation programme.