Iona before her recording session

One of Scotland’s brightest young musical talents is putting her voice to good use by helping our charity encourage children to build bridges higher than walls using Scots.

Iona Fyfe has been supporting efforts to have the ‘Neeps and Taties’ Scots book used in more than 600 Scottish primary schools in the run up to Burns Night.

Created by author Carey Morning and illustrator Anna York, ‘Neeps and Tatties’ tells the story of two warring vegetable tribes who are finally encouraged to put the past behind them in the interests of a better future. The book examines issues such as discrimination and prejudice, highlighting how old grievance can be overcome by a new generation. The charity has also created a resource pack to accompany the book which will encourage children to learn more about Scots as well as consider how they can make people from different backgrounds more welcome.

Huntley born singer Iona Fyfe has recorded a YouTube version of the story which teachers, parents and pupils can use at home and in the classroom. Last year she convinced global streaming service Spotify to officially recognise Scots as a language on their platforms.  Iona was named ‘Scots Speaker of the Year’ in the 2021 Scots Language Awards and was last month also named MG Alba Musician of the Year, the first singer to win the award.

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The team behind the book hope it will not just encourage children to think about overcoming division but also give them a greater appreciation and understanding of Scots with a glossary being provided for those new to some of the words used.  More than 600 schools across Scotland have signed up to take part in the programme over the next few days. The project is also being supported by the Scottish Government and the Scots Language Centre.