Animation studio Blue-Zoo is sending out invitations to over 300 schools across the UK, offering them the chance to participate in workshops run by Laura Ellison, the voice of Olive - a young Ostrich on her imaginary travels. Children will be given the opportunity to create artwork that will be used as props, backgrounds and characters in Olive’s imaginary world, animated in 2D for each episode. Olive the Ostrich is scheduled to launch on Nickelodeon’s preschool channel Nick Jr in 2011.

The Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts has advised Blue-Zoo on the selection of schools to be invited into the project from areas that suffer from a lack of funding for the arts. From the 300 schools, 46 schools will be chosen as ‘content creators’ for one episode each. The workshops will play a key part in the project, helping to take it to deprived areas, as well as running the project online, enabling as many children as possible to engage not only with the show, but with the process of making it.

Blue-Zoo says that it will be using this opportunity to work closely with children to help educate and excite them about the process of storytelling, art and film making. The workshops will aim to inspire creativity and help develop art and storytelling skills.

Blue-Zoo’s director Oli Hyatt says “This unique and open way of creating content for an animated series lets children not only be viewers but also become designers and directors. Some children don’t have access to these kinds of creative resources which is a real shame. Hopefully this project will give teachers the ability and tools to make art and creativity a core part of their curriculum. “