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Authors lead with class act

SWEDEN

Sixty Swedish writers are working with 11, 14 and 15-year-olds in Stockholm schools, giving lessons and going on library visits. The project - Reading Underway - is part of the city's programme as Cultural Capital of Europe 1998.

The project began with in-service seminars for teachers in December. Schools taking part are to get 60,000 books free.

Altogether 250 projects and "happenings", nearly a quarter of the overall programme, are directed at children. Every pupil in the city will have the opportunity to take part in at least one during the year.

Beate Sydhoff, the director, said: "Creating a new audience for the arts is one of our priorities. We want to make them more accessible to children."

All four to 11-year-olds have been given calendars marked with children's events. Linked to a different theme each month, these include Invasion 98 (May 30-31) when 45,000 children from all over Sweden will give musical performances on every square in the city and at various indoor venues, including the opera house.

Art and design are major topics throughout the year. Following a teachers' seminar held at the Architectural Museum, 11 schools are making huge model buildings in wood.

Gillian Thomas

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