Help Dora Help with Nick Jr

It’s that time of the year again when Nick Jr Help Dora Help! They are giving you the chance to help your local pre-school or nursery win £20000 to support education, development and exploration.

The campaign, supported by The Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts consists of a free activity pack, giving nurseries and pre-schools educational activity resources. Nurseries will also have the opportunity to apply for an award of £20,000. The pack follows the Early Years Foundation Stage development goals and contains six activity session plans that provide stimulating learning opportunities with the theme of Dora the Explorer’s adventures. The themes for this year’s pack are: Cooking, Sports Day, Fairy Tales, Animals, Seaside and Music.

Registration is now open at nickjr.co.uk/helpdorahelp for nurseries to apply for a pack. They have until 22nd July to work through the activities with their pre-schoolers and put together their application for the £20,000 award.

 Once this year’s applications have been submitted, an expert panel led by Nick Jr.’s Wake Up World Helena Dowling, alongside Nick Jr. representatives and partners including The Prince’s Foundation, Dora Magazine and Chad Valley will choose five finalists. The public will then be able to vote for their favourite application and decide who is awarded the £20,000.

Each of the five finalists will be awarded discovery and learning equipment from Chad as well as a classroom visit from Dora the Explorer and all five finalists’ award bids will be filmed and aired on Nick. Jr.

In 2011, Hope Nursery School in Belfast was selected. With the award the Nursery selected to build a play area featuring numerous play structures, a puppet theatre, garden, sand and water area.

So what are you waiting for? Why not help your local nursery or pre-school. I know I will be helping mine!

I also got the chance to ask the lovely Helena a few questions about the awards & her life as a Nick Jr presenter!

how did you become a presenter on Nick Jr.?

It has been a dream come true really I feel very fortunate. I had done some presenting when I was in a girl band and really enjoyed it. I have also taught dance to children for over ten years and found that children find me really entertaining. People began to suggest that I become a children’s TV presenter. I came to Nickelodeon initially to work on ‘ The Bopp’s ‘ where I basically played myself and their little love interest (awww). It turned out that the current presenter was leaving so I was invited to screen test and got the job! I work with an amazing team of people who are all very passionate about children’s programming and provide invaluable tips. We have a lot of fun too!

What’s the highlight of your career so far?

Well I am also a professional dancer and going on world tour with Pet Shop Boys was an amazing experience especially when they supported Take That at Wembley. Also doing live events with Nickelodeon has been brilliant too, we did Skyfest last year and it was so great to see the audience  smiling and kids waving in the crowd. I really enjoyed it. I also love promoting Help Dora Help as it is very fulfilling to be part of such wonderful campaign. I actually visited some of the nurseries last year and saw first hand how much fun the children were having using the activity packs. It was also fantastic to be able to meet the nursery staff and see how passionate they are about their work I have no doubt that each of last year’s finalists would of been able to do brilliant things with the prize fund. 

How hard is it as a panel to select the finalists? 

Really hard! Last year the entries kept on raining in and the quality of the work was amazing. Some children had a Dora themed day out, others had done the pirate adventure in the classroom or a day of dress up and they had sent in little pictures of them! So sweet! It was great to see how creative some of the entries were, that is a major part how the entries are judged. We all had incredibly detailed score cards to fill in appraising the entries and proposals for the award so the judging was very fair and took a few days.

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