03 March 2009
More than 2,000 primary school children from across the Caerphilly county borough will soon be flocking to see the hugely successful anti-drugs play "Wings to Fly", now in its fourteenth year.
Running from 9th to 11th March, there will be a total of 6 performances at Blackwood Miners Institute, which will be performed by young actors from the Caerphilly County Youth Theatre Group, and directed by Joanna Smith and Catherine Lacey, Arts Development Officers for CCBC.
Funded by Caerphilly County Borough Council, as a key member of the Safer Caerphilly Community Safety Partnership, Wings to Fly is aimed at highlighting to year six primary school children, aged 10 and 11, of the perils of succumbing to peer pressure and taking drugs in the future, which is particularly relevant as they prepare to join their various secondary schools in September.
Cabinet member for the environment, Cllr Lyn Ackerman said, "Wings to Fly is a powerful production that demonstrates to school pupils the dangers of taking drugs. Since it began almost 14 years ago, over 32,000 children in the Caerphilly county borough have benefitted from seeing a performance of Wings to Fly, which is an excellent figure.
This production also clearly highlights our commitment to educate our youngsters of the dangers surrounding drugs, and substance misuse issues in general."
The fifty-minute play forms a theatre based learning experience, aimed at raising young people's awareness of the harmful effects of substance misuse. It focuses on methods youngsters can use to combat peer pressure and refuse drugs.
Gwent Police School Liaison Officers will be following up the performances as part of their Core Schools Programme, by going into schools to discuss the issues raised in Wings to Fly, and further engage with them about the harmful effects of substance misuse and provide them with helpful information and advice.
So successful has the play proven in recent years, since 2005 it has been translated into Welsh, allowing children from welsh-speaking schools to access the play also. Welsh medium performances of the production are planned for later in the year.
The production has also been taken up by local authorities and police forces throughout Wales, and the model of a school based drugs awareness programme, reinforced by the theatre based learning experience is both popular and successful.
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