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It is time to ACT

The ACTivators are out and about in primary schools in the Highlands - five of them - and their mission is to kick-start drama activities by hooking children at an early age and getting staff to carry on their work once the project is over.

ACTivators is managed by Sonia Rose, arts education development officer at Eden Court Theatre, Inverness, while John Batty, the theatre's drama artist in residence, acts as team-leader. The two-year project is one of three that grew out of the 1996-2000 Starfeis scheme and is funded by a pound;146,900 grant from the Scottish Arts Council Lottery Fund, with additional backing from HiArts, Friends of Eden Court and Highland Council.

The project aims to encourage future drama activity in an after school, and support is available to teachers and parents interested in furthering the work after the year is over.

Sonia Rose believes ACTivators may be a better way of serving the region's needs than a drama teacher: "The kind of projects we are developing may be a way of offering larger numbers of young people drama in school, using theatre arts workers who are flexible to work in and out of school hours, and can enhance other subjects too. They represent an effective use of resources that are difficult to maintain in this area."

Teacher and pupil responses to date are very positive. ACTivators runs until June 2002, with a fresh intake of schools in the summer. Eden Court Theatre, tel 01463 239841.

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