What is Athena’s Owls?
The Athena’s Owls project, part of the Manchester Classical Association’s public engagement programme, is a series of completely free myth and ancient history crafts and literacy workshops aimed at children of primary school age, currently held on a monthly basis at Didsbury Library. We provide all the materials and welcome regular ‘Owls’ as well as newcomers – but we often find that families come back month after month!
The project is currently in its second year, and has four main aims:
- to (re-)introduce children to the ancient world and help them explore and maintain an interest in the history, myths and culture of Ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt
- to create a fun and enjoyable experience in an inclusive environment, inviting children (and parents!) to find out about what we do and how learning about Ancient History can be useful and exciting
- to provide a creative outlet
- to encourage literacy
Athena’s Owls is run by Kat Mawford and Matt Ingham, PhD students at the University of Manchester and committee members of the Manchester Classical Association. You can find them both on Twitter (@KatMawford and @MattJIngham), often tweeting about Athena’s Owls or the day to day struggles of Classics and Ancient History PhD students! Both Kat and Matt have been doing public engagement things and working in local schools for several years, in the form of teaching primary and secondary school pupils (and teachers) about Latin or other bits of ancient history.
What does a typical session look like?
Each workshop lasts roughly an hour and is themed around a certain topic. We start with a storytelling session based on a myth or other ancient story, before we move on to the gluey part of the session (lasting around 45 minutes).
Anyone is welcome at these events, from regular ‘Owls’ to first-time visitors, young and old! Our activities and stories are generally aimed at children of primary school age, but we often find that younger and slightly older children like to get involved. All we ask is that children are supervised and bring lots of enthusiasm with them.
If you have questions about Athena’s Owls or any other Manchester CA events please don’t hesitate to get in touch via our contact form! Other than that, the best way to learn more about what we do is to come along to one of our workshops – hopefully we’ll see you there!