Young Animators Wow With Sheila Graber!

Published: 20th February 2019

Young Animators Wow With Sheila Graber!

Before Christmas we told you that Shiela Graber was going to be running a short animation project with foster children. This was thanks to The Rotary Club of South Tyneside (formerly The Rotary Club of Jarrow with Harton).

The Rotary Club of South Tyneside funded a project lasting 6 weeks for foster children aged 7 to 13 year. The group worked with educator and animator Sheila Graber. Sheila is well known throughout South Shields as a former teacher but is perhaps most well know as being the original animator of the 1970s Paddington Bear TV series.

Sheila, her assistant Jen and Elizabeth Kane (Learning Officer at The Customs House) worked with the children for six weeks. These young people were recruited with help from The PLACE (Project for Looked After Children’s Education).

Sheila is an experienced arts educator who understood the priority of this project was to raise the children’s sense of self-worth, esteem and confidence.

Stop Motion Studio

In week 1 Sheila got to know the group and we were introduced to free animation software suitable for creating animations on a mobile phone and tablet. None of the children had used Stop Motion Studio previously although some had taken part in animation projects previously.

Children quickly warmed to Sheila and really enjoyed working as a large group making their first drawn animation then in groups creating plasticine animations on the theme ‘growth’.  Each week the group got to grips with a new theme. They made animation about the sea, food, with toys and pantomimes.

A Celebration

In week 6 we hosted our sharing event. It was wonderful to see the children together with their carers and our guests from the Rotary Club interacting. We began with a light bite and watched the animations and footage of sessions. The children’s faces lit up and everyone laughed and applauded. The children then shared their newly acquired animation skills.

Elizabeth Kane Learning Officer said,

“The children were so confident working alongside their cares and guests. It made me feel positive the children had a sense of belonging at The Customs House. A huge thank you to Sheila and Jen for their amazing work. Thanks to the carers for getting their foster children. Our gratitude goes to The PLACE for helping with recruitment and of course The Rotary Club of South Tyneside without whom the project couldn’t have happened.”

We’re going to announce details of our next project later today with funding secured for the Big Lottery. See here.

If you want to know more about The Rotary Club of South Tyneside please get in touch with and she will forward your details onto the group.