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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 August, 2004, 12:52 GMT 13:52 UK
Broadband offers magical journey
Children reading on a carpet in a classroom
The traditional 'reading' carpet is about to be transformed
A 'magic carpet' which will take children on virtual journeys around the world is among winners of a set of community internet awards.

For children at St John's Pre-School in Liverpool, the traditional classroom carpet is about to be hooked up to a broadband connection.

A rug, colour monitor and PC is all that is needed for the project.

The award is one of 30 chosen by internet service provider AOL and the charity Citizens Online.

The school, in the Toxteth area of Liverpool, is home to many children who have never travelled outside of Liverpool.

Their teachers hope that virtual journeys around the world and back in time will be a valuable teaching tool.

"We are very excited to be receiving this award," said Emily Taylor of St John's Pre-School.

"Using the magic carpet, the children will be able to travel and see places they have only ever dream about. We believe that using the internet in this way could inspire the next generation of Toxteth," she added.

Baby birds

Blue tits feeding
Webcams in the nest will open up a whole new world of wildlife
Children in Cirencester in Gloucestershire will also be using the internet to look in places they ordinarily would not be able to see.

The Cirencester Opportunity Group, an independent charity providing pre-school care and special needs education, plans to install a webcam in a nesting box for blue tits.

Children will then be able to watch the baby birds' progress on its website.

The awards are designed for community groups and charities across the UK to launch internet projects that will benefit local citizens.

Each of the 30 winners is receiving 2,000 and a year's free subscription to AOL.

The Erskine Hospital in Renfrewshire, Scotland, plans to use its money to record the memories of World War II veterans in its care for inclusion in an audio section on its website.

In Waltham Forest, East London, the Forest Recycling Project, aims to provide its very own version of eBay.

Unwanted items such as furniture, toys, bric-a-brac and books will be advertised on the web to be taken away free of charge by others in the area who have a use for them.

Another winner, OCD-UK, the charity aimed at supporting people living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorders, wants to use its award to put people in touch with specialist therapists via online chatrooms.

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