The National Cultural Foundation’s (NCF) Crop Over Activity Colouring Book for Children has gone global.
The digital version of the national book, which allows for colouring virtually and was first made available last year, is being used outside of Barbados in cyberspaces as far as Europe.
Shannon Clarke, the App developer who worked with NCF on the project has been monitoring its use and engagement.
“I have seen that persons have been uploading to the site as well as making use of the drawing. One of the more interesting things is that it is being used around the world.
We have persons from United States, Finland, Canada and all over. So, I truly thank the NCF for allowing me to be a part of this amazing project,” he said.
The book features pages that manifest Bajan culture and traditions. Pages depicting The Landship, Donkey Man, Tuk Music, The Millyard, The
Shaggy Bear, Mother Sally, Steel Pan, Stick-licking, Cane-cutting, Christmas in Queen’s Park, The Dray-cart and more are included. Users can log on to the digital book from their tablets, computers and mobile devices in the comfort of their homes.
Clarke, who is director and head developer at his company Webstart, has worked on many other projects including the creation of the Carepoint, a healthcare app currently used at clinics and the Repeat Visitors Database that tracks the arrival and stay of repeat visitors to Barbados.
However, he admits that working on this project was especially exciting as he sees endless possibilities for it. “It has been exciting.
It was an exciting opportunity. It was a lot to learn over a specific period. It was a way for me to challenge my own self as I am juggling some things.
“I really wanted to make sure that it would be something useful. I see some students are using it as well. Some people are coming to the site through the NCF website and others are using google classroom.”
Clarke holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus.
He has been the recipient of many awards including: IDB Young Innovator Award (2015), Winner Digital Jam Caribbean (2014) and National Innovation Award (2011).
The developer is pleased with the success of the NCF’s colouring book especially the response to it. However, he is continuously thinking of ways to better what he has done.
“I see myself as a creator I have always been excited about building solutions. Software is an exciting medium to be working in. I see a lot of room for where it can go in the future.
“I have been exploring the ideas of having different colouring books uploaded, improving some of the drawing aspects and targeting different demographics.
I remember as a child there were some books that as you opened [them] they would flip up and start playing music. So there is an opportunity for artistes’ songs to be embedded,” Clarke said.