In case anyone hadn't noticed, it's been a while since children were to be seen and not heard. Thankfully, now there are many initiatives that place children where they should be; at the forefront of our thinking.
Since 1999 we have had the Children's Laureate in the UK. It's a role designed to promote and maintain the importance of children's books and the ability to read them. Unfortunately, for a host of reasons, some children slip through the net, but there are efforts to pick them up. Many local libraries offer rhymes, songs and stories for kids under five and at a national level, the National Literary Trust runs an initiative called Reading The Game and “...works to promote reading, writing, and speaking and listening for all ages through the motivational power of sport.”
For children, playing should be the most normal and natural thing in the world, and it's hard to think that we should consider it necessary to have an annual celebration of children's right to play, but here in the 21st century we do. Playday has been doing exactly what it says on the tin for more than two decades.
Finally, there are things happening for children at this years Edinburgh Festival. More children's shows, more child-friendly venues and perhaps a further underlining of the fact that children cannot be ignored and, for our own good, must continue to be heard.
© 2009, copyright Martin T. Hodges