Ben and Jodie Cook, creators of the Clever Tykes children’s storybooks, have secured a partnership with Lloyds Banking Group that will see a copy of the series delivered to each and every primary school in the UK. The national roll-out will see the books arrive in schools this week. One of the books, Code-it Cody, follows the story of computer whizz Cody, and aims to make coding and IT skills fun and relevant for primary school children.
As part of its Helping Britain Prosper Plan, Lloyds Banking Group is committed to supporting education, skills and entrepreneurship which will help to develop the business leaders of the future. This initiative brings these themes together with the aim that the books will inspire a generation of children.
Leigh Smyth, Head of Group Digital Inclusion, Lloyds Banking Group said: “We are delighted to be able to support Clever Tykes which we hope will develop much-needed skills. As part of our ambition to help Britain prosper we strongly believe that investing in educating children in coding, IT and enterprise will not only benefit young people, but ultimately also the communities in which they live.”
The Code-it Cody story will work alongside Lloyds Banking Group’s initiative to help children aged 9-11 to learn coding skills at after-school Code Clubs across the UK. Children are being introduced to basic programming skills which will allow them to program their own interactive stories, games and animations and develop their coding capabilities, helping to create the coders and digital makers of the future. Over 400 Lloyds Banking Group colleagues signed up to Code Club in the last three months of 2016 keen to help young people learn coding skills in schools and libraries.
The storybooks inspire resourceful, innovative and enterprising behaviour and have generated interest from across the globe after their inclusion in a national government report, “Enterprise for All”. They are now set to be enjoyed by millions of children in over 23,000 schools.
The book package includes access to a range of online teaching materials. The Clever Tykes enterprise portal is the first of its kind. It allows teachers and parents to access enterprise resources, including specific coding storybooks, plus the associated teachers guides, chapter walkthroughs and lesson plans. It can be accessed on a big screen for the whole class or students can use iPads to view resources individually. In itself, the enterprise portal provides a whole term’s worth of PSHE lessons.
The idea was inspired after Ben and Jodie, founder of JC Social Media and Birmingham Young Professional of the Year 2014, discovered the evidence between role models and entrepreneurial intention, but found too few positive business role models for children. The pair set about creating three stories that introduced important life skills and attitudes to children aged six to nine.
Co-founder Ben Cook commented, “It’s an incredibly exciting time for Clever Tykes and primary enterprise education. We’ve seen the positive changes in children’s behaviour having read our stories and we’re delighted that thousands more will benefit.”
Jodie Cook (nee Cole) was crowned Birmingham Young Professional of the Year 2014 and runs one of the city’s largest marketing agencies JC Social Media. She is a former BQ West Midlands cover star and has featured in the Telegraph, BBC Radio 4 and Virgin Radio commenting on social media and entrepreneurship.
Jodie and her husband Ben Cook, a first class and award-winning economics graduate, dreamt up the Clever Tykes storybooks in 2012. The books have been stocked in Harrods and Selfridges in London, Waterstones online and with BookLife, the major school supplier. Both are 27 years old and live in Birmingham.
In March 2016, Lloyds Banking Group updated its Helping Britain Prosper Plan, setting out three separate and significant public commitments to do even more to help address some of the big issues facing the people, businesses and communities of Britain today.
The “Enterprise for All” report (2014), Clever Tykes on page 25.