Energy Issues are child's play with new European animation series 'My Friend Boo'
'My Friend Boo' is a new animation project that will significantly improve the way Europe communicates to its children on some of today's most important global issues. The Energy strand was launched on April 27 at the European Parliament in Brussels.
Supported by the European Commission's fund for energy and produced by award-winning animators, the series has pioneered a new approach to creating educational programmes for children. Messages and storylines were developed with the help of leading independent energy experts, WWF and Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC) and tested at each main production phase on hundreds of European children in Belgium, Bulgaria, Ireland, Italy and Poland. REC activities during the project implementation period were co-funded by the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea.
"My Friend Boo is the first project of this scale to respond to the needs of Europe's new generation of young learners," said project architect and spokesperson Luigi Petito. "We have taken important and complex issues like energy beyond the walls of formal places of learning and translated them into the medium that kids love most. The response from our focus groups has been overwhelmingly positive. It's a great example of a European approach that works locally."
'My Friend Boo' tells the story of kids Ben, Jaq and Lucy, and a magical dog, Boo. Boo takes the kids on a succession of great adventures to find out about issues such as energy saving, renewables and sustainable transport - some of Europe's top priorities.
"Animation 'animates' young minds, and this project sounds like a great way to present energy issues," said Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth. "If you make learning fun, it's more likely to engage people of all ages. I congratulate everyone involved with 'My Friend Boo' and wish them every success with the project."
Stephan Singer, Director Global Energy Policy WWF, added: "In order to win the fight against climate change and progress to 100-percent renewable energy within the next couple of decades, we need to educate our children. From the earliest age, future generations need to learn about the wonderful benefits of saving energy and replacing polluting energy like coal and nuclear with wind, sun and sustainable bioenergy."
"Children can be huge drivers for change," concluded MEP Fiona Hall, "and cartoon animation is a wonderful means to help them learn about energy, an issue that is sometimes too complex for them to understand. The European Union should be supporting more projects of this kind".
'My Friend Boo' will be broadcast on leading channels in over 14 countries across Europe this autumn, and discussions are underway with many more broadcasters worldwide. Episodes will also be rolled out in schools, social clubs and associations across the continent, all in local languages.
For more information about 'My Friend Boo', please contact Giulia Camozzini at:
Tel: +32 2 894 96 27