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Calling all budding young writers 22 February 2008

School children are being encouraged to put pen to paper for the annual International Letter-writing Competition organised by the Universal Postal Union (UPU).

Isle of Man Post Office has joined forces with the Department of Education to promote and encourage children up to 15 years to enter the competition which aims to make youngsters aware of the important role postal services play in our societies and to foster an appreciation of letter-writing.

Now in its 37th year, the contest was created by the 1969 Tokyo Congress and launched in 1971. All postal administrations are invited to participate and entrants have to write a letter between 500 and 1,000 words long to someone to tell them why the world needs tolerance.

Isle of Man Post Office will choose a national winner and submit the winning entry to the UPU international competition. The UPU sends on the entries received from participating member countries to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), who select the first three prize winners and up to four entries that deserve a special mention. The first three international winners shall receive medals, a certificate as well as other prizes offered by the UPU International Bureau.

Locally, prizes of £25 WH Smith vouchers and a philatelic gift, donated by Isle of Man Post Office, will be awarded to the winners in each year group from Year six through to Year 10. In addition, the overall winner chosen to represent the Isle of Man in the International Letter-writing Competition will receive a further £25 voucher for WH Smith.

Chief Executive of Isle of Man Post Office Bill Chacksfield said:

“This is a fantastic competition for our young people to enter and therefore I would urge all children between the ages of 10 and 15 to take part.”

Minister for Education Anne Craine, MHK said:

“This is a competition to capture the imagination! It offers not only the opportunity for those many children who love writing to get their pens out, but it encourages the age old art of communicating through letters, a rare event these days. We all enjoy receiving letters but the advent of e-mail and telephone means that fewer and fewer of us sit down and write them.”

She continued:

“The competition theme of tolerance is to be encouraged in this era of impatience and rage where there is little room for understanding or care. It is time for us all to think a little bit more about one another instead of developing a core of selfishness. Nothing feels as good as helping someone or surprising them with thoughtfulness or understanding. I think that some of our children and young people can actually teach us adults a great deal about tolerance in the world today. They have an untainted view from which we can all learn and I will be fascinated to see the entries to this competition when they come in.”

Anyone who would like to enter the competition should in the first instance go via their school who have all the details. The closing date for entries is Monday 14th April 2008.

For more information on the competition please visit the Isle of Man Post Office website www.iompost.com

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