StampIT project aims to engage kids with stamp collecting.

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Sandie-13389.jpg Sandie Robb
We talk to Sandie Robb of the StampIT project about how she's been inspiring school-age children to get into stamp collecting.

We talk to Sandie Robb of the StampIT project about how she's been inspiring school-age children to get into stamp collecting.

Sandie Robb is the Development Officer for the Association of Scottish Philatelic Societies and has been running the StampIT project for a number of years. To coincide with the relaunch of StampIT which now features a new outreach programme for schools and youth groups, we asked Sandie about the project.

How did you become involved in the StampIT project?

I collected stamps as a child and now as a teacher and education officer, I want to re-introduce stamp collecting to our youth but with a fresh modern look to the hobby. I linked up with the Association of Scottish Philatelic Societies (ASPS) initially for a Girlguiding project and created the first StampIT. Since then I have worked with ASPS on their youth programmes and now have the role of Development Officer. 

What does the project aim to do?

StampIT aims to let children discover stamps through fun interactive games and activities. I want children to discover stamps as art, inspiration for art, tools for learning, finding facts, showing culture, learning language and just for fun.

What has the reaction been to the project so far, from young people and schools?

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Fantastic reaction from young people, teachers and leaders. The main comment from the children is that they never realised there were so many stamps and so many stamps with interesting, fun pictures on them. The most popular comment from adults is ‘Oh I had a stamp collection, I must go and look it out!’ or similarly that a parent, grandparent had a collection and it is in the loft and they will go back and look for it.

How can people help with the project?

StampIT runs on a very small budget. I give my time voluntarily to run the outreaches but expenses are obviously incurred in travel, materials and stamps. This year with contributions from ASPS, the Scottish Philatelic Trade Association and Stamp Active we have been able to create some fantastic new resources but there are lots of other ideas to take StampIT forward. It is also important that each child taking part receives some free stamps to further ignite their interest and donations of good, child-friendly themed stamps are always welcome.

What advice would you give to collectors hoping to teach young people about stamps?

Stamp collecting has to compete in a world with so many exciting activities and hobbies for children. Therefore stamp collecting has to move with the times and that may mean taking a different, fresh look at how we present stamps, how competitions are run at societies and how we use stamps. Teachers take notice if materials and resources are linked to the curriculum and show good examples of how learning outcomes can be achieved.

StampIT outreach sessions are available in Central Scotland but there may be limited availability in other areas. Teachers’ or leaders’ packs are also available on request which provide ideas of how to use stamps within the classroom or youth group activity. Contact Stamp IT by e-mail and Twitter at @Sandie_Robb and #ASPS_StampIT.