Little Sunflower is an early intervention emotional wellbeing programme for primary schools and children ages 6 -10 years. Using digital, interactive animation, audio visual books, books, ebooks and plush toys, the Little Sunflower teaches a life skill to children to help them develop resilience and self-esteem through, arts and crafts, audio skills, holistic elements, literacy, movement, music, visual & verbal skills, simple psychology and soon to come technology.
Sarah Gilbert, owner at Little Sunflower, says, ‘I was a very shy child growing up and looked forward to my one hour thirty minutes each week at drama class, where, for that time, I felt visible and could lose myself in another character. No surprises that I began my career as a drama teacher!’
Throughout ten years of teaching, she noticed that the children she had the privilege to work with, were, in the main, just like her, shy and lacking confidence. She says it was frustrating that, ‘I could only give them what I called ‘a façade’ of confidence. They went through exams, into festivals, but I could tell, behind their eyes, just like mine, the belief wasn’t there. And I knew that to be able to do something about it I had to refocus.’
So, she went drama college and fulfilled a dream – retraining as an actor at the Drama Studio London and spending the next seven years working in tv, film and theatre as well as a voice over for radio and tv and writer of documentaries and radio drama, winning Gold for writing, producing, directing and acting in the radio play, The Terror of Leap Castle, at Ireland’s prestigious PPI Awards in 2010.
‘When my son was born,’ she says, ‘I decided to work from home as a voice artist and writer so I could be mum. Then when he started school, I saw the same reasons I had left teaching in the children I now saw at the school gates every day.’
And the Little Sunflower journey began.
It has taken a lot of training and years to bring the resource to school readiness and she admits it was great to eventually go to schools and deliver the programme. However, due to the Covid pandemic has had to find another way to deliver the message and spent the last year getting Little Sunflower digitally ready!
‘I’m thrilled and so excited that Little Sunflower’s journey is just beginning and I truly hope that children will have the opportunity to interact with the Little Sunflower and watch it grow with self-belief, mirroring their own development.’
Now she’s ready to talk to anyone who’s happy to listen!
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