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The latest story to join Pop’n’Olly’s educational videos for young children is set to challenge the heteronormativity of most kids’ stories. The gay fairytale romance will appear on Pop’n’Olly’s YouTube channel, and is designed to provide alternative educational resources for those who wish to provide a broader range of educational texts for children.
On founder Olly Pike’s Kickstarter page, he writes, ‘I feel the best way to battle discrimination for future generations is to start with children. We should educate them about a wider cross-section of society and teach acceptance with regards to love, kindness and respect.’
The latest video in the Pop’n’Olly series is about the fictional Prince Henry, and tells the story of a loving romance between a young Prince and his servant Thomas. The video is an intersectional one which focuses on the class divide between the two lovers, while the same-sex element is presented in a matter-of-fact way to help usualise that element of the story. In the short film, the Prince’s father is happy for him to choose someone of either gender to marry.
The Pop’n’Olly video ‘Super Balloon Dude’ focused on a super hero in a pink costume and is designed to help ‘Encourage children to be themselves whilst promoting diversity as a positive notion’.
Through his Kickstarter page, Olly Pike hopes to create more LGBT-friendly videos and resources, as well as publishing ‘Prince Henry’ as a book which can be claimed as a reward. Future plans include a series of print titles to complement the YouTube channel.
‘The ultimate goal, would be to have my work integrated as part of the Key Stage 1 schools syllabus, across England and Wales and then to expand this as an international protocol. I think it’s vital subjects like these be taught alongside academic subjects, after all, what is an education worth, if it is lacking in basic human rights?’
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, has said earlier this year: ‘I am increasingly supportive of the proposition that education of any kind, if it is devoid of strong universal human rights component, can be next to worthless. We need people who are kind, people with PHD-level compassion’
Pike goes on to add, ‘It is vital we provide learning tools such as this for future generations, content which enables conversation, discussion and ultimately combats discrimination.’