Five Cumbrian MPs this week delivered personal messages of support to primary school pupils taking part in Bright Stars 2021 to congratulate them on taking part and encourage them to ‘Make a Difference’.
The innovative programme project-managed by the Centre for Leadership Performance partners primary schools with local companies to set up and run businesses. But for Bright Stars 2021 the focus is shifting from making a profit – to making a difference by creating digital marking campaigns to champion worthwhile causes chosen by the children.
To ensure the safety of everyone taking part within COVID-19 restrictions, the format is also changing with digital contact replacing face-to-face interaction between children and their business mentors. It will also reflect changes in the ways businesses operate with remote working and more online collaboration.
More than 30 schools across Cumbria are set to take part in the 8-week programme starting in January 2021, and the MPs have pledged their support with personal messages for the schools in their areas.
Video messages went live today and can be viewed on this page from Copeland MP Trudy Harrison, Workington MP Mark Jenkinson, Carlisle MP John Stevenson, Penrith & Borders MP Dr Neil Hudson and Barrow and Furness MP Simon Fell.
The five MPs are also set to join video web chats with the Bright Stars schools in their constituencies early in January 2021 prior to the start of campaign activity.
CfLP Executive Director Sarah Glass explains: “Having the support of the county’s MPs is hugely encouraging. They are incredibly important to local communities as leaders, advocates and people who ‘get things done’ – so they are perfect role models for our Bright Stars learning about business and helping people.
Bright Stars (now in its ninth year) is designed to introduce Cumbrian primary school children to leadership, entrepreneurship and teamwork and get them excited about the world of business in a fun accessible way. The programme is delivered and funded in partnership with the local businesses taking part.
Bright Stars gives children the opportunity to learn about key business principles like innovation, budgeting, problem solving and delivering to deadlines, while linking with core curriculum subjects such as English, maths and design & technology. It also builds confidence as they showcase hidden talents and develop new skills.
For companies, Bright Stars creates on-going links with local primary schools, connects with young people and makes them aware of what the companies do while positively impacting communities and providing development opportunities for staff who get involved.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions Bright Stars 2021 will limit contact between the schools and the businesses to online video chats, conference calls and email. The children’s business teams will develop digitally-led marketing ideas and activities and will also compete to win funds for their schools with prizes in ten categories including best leadership and teamworking. But most importantly, the pupils and their business partners should have fun!
Sarah Glass adds: “In previous years the children’s business fund-raising has always involved lots of contact with people but that contact is no longer possible with Covid-19 restrictions. The schools and business partners have all embraced the idea of ‘making a difference’ because it empowers the children to bring about positive change.
“We will reintroduce the original Bright Stars elements next year, but at this time, working to make things better in our world seems very appropriate and we are confident the children will rise to the challenge with the help of their business partners.”
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