CHILDREN in Africa will be getting a better education thanks to a little bit of help from a Brierley Hill firm.

Write Size, a company which has designed the world’s first bespoke range of handwriting pencils specifically for children, have teamed up with Ridgewood High School’s Project Gambia initiative to dispatch more than 200 sets of pencils to the third world country.

The pencils, which are being sold in 65 stationery stores in New Zealand, are made to the proportion of a child’s hands, and vary in length and core, but remain the same diameter as a pen to create consistency.

Bev Hodt, Project Gambia leader and Ridgewood’s assistant headteacher, invited Surlender Pendress, the founder of Write Size, to the school to see how the two could work together to get as many children as possible to benefit from the firm’s invention.

Surlender said: “We don’t give our kids adults shoes to learn to walk in, we don’t give them a mountain bike to learn how to ride, but kids get child-sized cutlery, when we send them back to school we buy the right size uniform – everything is made to scale.

“But when it comes to writing, which is a fundamental learning skill, we give then adult sized pens and pencils which just don’t fit their hands.

“We want our pencils to provide children with the best opportunity to develop their writing skills, speeding up their learning time and subsequently improving their educational experience.

“Meeting with Ridgewood and Bev has been excellent for us as they are doing what was always in the back of our minds and we are here to support Project Gambia.

“The school does great work to help children who are less fortunate and need as good an education as they can get to start their route out of poverty.”

The pencils will be taken out to Gambia later this month when more than 80 students and staff head out on the school’s yearly visit.

Group one will be flying out next Saturday (March 19), while the second group will join them on Tuesday, March 22, before the final group make the trip on Friday, March 25.

Bev Hodt, Project Gambia leader and Ridgewood’s assistant headteacher, said: “This donation will not only have a significant impact on the education of the children but will also make a huge difference to the schools who have very few resources.

“Some of these pencils will go to the school at Madiana where many of the nursery children we visited last March were writing on blocks of wood.”

For more information about Write Size visit, or for the latest from Project Gambia visit