Thanks to a National Lottery Wales Community Fund grant, the lovable yellow dragon Selog, together with the Menter Iaith Môn team, is celebrating a £9,980 award to develop three more of the popular free Selog apps, as well as a series of events for children and families in Holyhead. The new apps will present: one yoga app for children and adults, one open-air app of rhymes and nature vocabulary, and one with a further collection of Welsh songs. In addition, the ‘Reach Out With Selog’ project includes a series of yoga and fitness presentations in the Holyhead area, and two bus family trips for Holyhead families to do open-air activities.
Nia Thomas explained on behalf of Menter Iaith Môn:
“Since it was the non-Welsh-speaking parents in Holyhead who instigated the Selog apps in the first instance, when the new three Selog apps are ready, it’s only natural that we return to Holyhead to introduce the new apps. Obviously, the free Welsh apps will also be available for download on iPhones or android phones, or on iPads and tablets, for all across Wales and beyond. We are extremely grateful to the National Lottery Wales Community Fund for recognising the value of the apps in supporting children and their families to reach their language potential and to strengthen the provision of community and open-air activities and the social cohesion through Welsh that is happening in Holyhead.”
In 2017, as a result of the Menter Iaith Môn song and story sessions at Holyhead library, some of the non-Welsh-speaking parents asked for a resource to support them to continue with the progress in Welsh in the home. In response to this request, the first two apps were developed in 2017, namely an app with 14 songs and another app reading the popular children’s books of ‘Alun yr Arth’ and ‘Rwdlan’. The apps have already been downloaded over 17,000 times, and the followers on the twitter @SelogAp account show that 75% of the followers are Welsh learners or native speakers from Wales, another 20% from the rest of the UK, whilst 5% are from further afield, including from Argentina where Welsh is still spoken in Patagonia.
The apps will be produced by SbectolCyf, and the yoga for children specialist, Leisa Mererid, will provide yoga expertise. Bocsŵn will lead on the singing, and the outdoor and fitness app will be a pleasant resource for open–air activities, be that on the school yard, in the woods or on a beach. A programme of free sessions will be on offer to children and their families/carers to enable them to enjoy new activities in Welsh that they can also continue at home.