EOC Launches Children Book Series by Budding Local Designers from PolyU Design
Meet Tally and his friends, new ambassadors of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC). Hailing from outer space and looming above us at three metres tall, they are certainly no ordinary equal opportunities ambassadors! They have come to Earth for a basketball match, and beyond that, to help our young children understand that it does not always have to be “my team” versus “your team” and that we can all live in harmony with our differences.
This afternoon (24 October) at a press conference, the EOC unveiled “Tally & Friends”, a brand new illustrated children book series aimed at promoting equal opportunities messages to young children. Initiated as a project under the “Co-operative Workshop” of the School of Design of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU Design), the book project was meant to engage the school’s students in a multi-media campaign for a social enterprise/NGO client driving a social cause. It also marks the first-ever collaboration between the EOC and PolyU Design.
EOC Chairperson Professor Alfred CHAN Cheung-ming explained the objective of the book project: “Children hold the future of our world, and values are the seeds from which behaviour grows. That’s why we must instil in children the values of respect, diversity and equality, so that they will learn to avoid discrimination when they grow up. For years, the EOC has been undertaking different educational initiatives targeting children. We are very pleased to work with PolyU Design, a locally and globally leading design school, and leverage the creative and artistic talents of local young designers to impart these positive moral values to our future generation.”
Professor Cees DE BONT, Dean of PolyU Design, Swire Chair Professor of Design, and Alex Wong Siu Wah Gigi Wong Fook Chi Professor in Product Design Engineering of PolyU said: “Work-integrated Education, WIE, is a graduation requirement to facilitate students’ School to Work transition since 2005. In recent five years, around 30% of the 71 Co-operative Projects, the first component of WIE, were adopted by clients. ‘Tally & Friends’ are one of the examples to use design to communicate an important message: disability isn’t a choice, discrimination is. The second component that makes up WIE is internship. We have seen an increasing trend of students interned offshore, from 25% in 2015 to over 40% in 2017. We look forward to working with EOC and other collaborators, to nurture young designers that understand design social, design making, and design economies.”
In addition to Professor Alfred Chan and Professor Cees de Bont, the press conference today was attended by the design team of “Tally & Friends”, EOC Members, representatives from the education sector, heads of NGOs providing services for children, and the media.
At the launch, Ms Shirley LOO, Convenor of the EOC Community Participation and Publicity Committee and veteran writer, shared her experience and knowledge on how to foster more effective communication between parents and children. Lead designers of “Tally & Friends”, Boski CHAN and Suze CHAN, also took the stage and talked about what inspired them to create the tall characters and their personal learning during the design process. And to create synergy among different EOC projects, students of CNEC Lau Wing Sang Secondary School, participating school of the Jockey Club Equal Opportunities Drama Project run by Prospects Theatre and supported by the EOC, were invited to turn the illustrated children story into drama performance.
The storybook set revolves around Tally, a basketball-loving boy from Planet Diversity, who learns to appreciate the strengths and needs of others during a trip to Earth with three friends for a basketball competition. Designed with eye-catching illustrations and cheerful colours, the series features three storybooks, each with a guided reading kit for parents and teachers to facilitate interactive communication with their children.
The EOC will arrange for hardcopies of the book series to be sent to relevant organisations in the education and social service sectors for their use. Meanwhile, the general public can access the e-books on the project’s dedicated mini-website (http://www.eoc.org.hk/eoc/graphicsfolder/inforcenter/tally/index.html),which also features free desktop wallpapers for download, as well as information about upcoming activities related to Tally & Friends.
For media enquiry, please contact Mr Sam HO at 2106-2187 or Ms Cindy LEUNG at 2106-2284.
Equal Opportunities Commission
24 October 2017