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Caithness News Bulletins April 2004

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Am Baile

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Secondary 1 and 2 students in The Highland Council area are being offered the opportunity to be part of Am Baile, the new Highland history and culture website and the chance to win a digital camera by taking part in a social history competition.

The Am Baile schools competition, 'A Day to Remember', is inviting students to write a short factual story about the Highlands. The winning entries will be showcased on the Am Baile website at www.ambaile.org.uk in the autumn.

Am Baile wants to encourage young people to find out more about the Scottish Highlands and Islands and what has gone on in its past. The team is looking for short stories about the Highlands. It's hoped that students will document tales from the older generation; these can be about local celebrations, family memories and holidays, to name but a few. The entries can be written in either English or Gaelic and illustrated by a photograph or drawing.

There are nine prizes to be won. The overall winner will receive a digital camera and there is a 25 book token prize for best entry in each Highland Council area.

The closing date for the competition is Friday 2nd July 2004. Entry forms are available at Secondary schools across the Highlands.

Am Baile is a fantastic resource for anyone interested in Highland history and culture, and can be used in English and Gaelic. The website currently has over 8000 live records and new material is continually being added.

Am Baile is led by The Highland Council in partnership with West Highland Animation, based in Highland Perthshire and Taigh Chearsabhagh Trust, a contemporary arts and heritage group in North Uist. The project has been supported by a grant from the New Opportunities Fund (NOF) and recently by Highland and Islands Enterprise.

Am Baile is the second largest of nine projects participating in the EnrichScotland project, a 6 million lifelong learning project, which aims to support Scottish lifelong learning, citizenship and cultural awareness.

EnrichScotland is the largest single on-line learning project backed by the NOF in the UK and will provide direct world-wide access to Scotland's historic archives and records.  It brings to together a large range of partnerships representing the Scottish community including voluntary groups, local authorities, libraries, museums, further and higher education and the private sector, all of which support lifelong learning under the three themes: cultural enrichment, citizenship and re-skilling.

The 50 million UK-wide digitisation programme is designed by NOF to bring the learning material and resources currently contained in galleries, libraries, museums and universities directly into homes and communities. The Fund, a National Lottery good cause distributor, has awarded grants to 150 organisations across the UK, large and small, who are converting a huge variety of material into digital format. The range of material being digitised includes archaeology, maritime, architecture, fine art, social and oral history.