Inspired by a novel by Catherine Bruton, eight-year-old stop motion artist launches carbon neutral, NFT series, donates earnings to charity in support of Syrian refugees

Eight year old stop-motion artist and Rocket Club member Annabelle White has entered the Non-Fungible Token world, launching her debut carbon neutral, NFT series and donating over $1000.00 in the process.

White, who is well known for her successful business Stop & Love, has honed her craft as a stop motion artist and gone on to create personalised greeting cards and advertisements for top brands including Bobbi Brown, Gooselings Scandinavian Luxury Blankets, and Startup Squad, to name a few.

A young rising star in the art world, White was featured earlier this year on Good Morning America alongside the international organisation, Rocket Club, a technology entrepreneurship club for kids ages 7-14, where she is an active member and has sharpened her business and STEM skills. 

Members at Rocket Club learn how to build their own businesses, code, build robotics, and are immersed in cutting-edge technology, including education on how to mint and sell NFT’s.  

(For those of you asking, NFT stands for non-fungible token. In economics, a fungible asset is something with units that can be readily interchanged – like money, and with money, you can swap a £10 note for two £5 notes and it will have the same value.

However, as this explanation of NFTs on the BBC News web site explains, if something is non-fungible, this is impossible – it means it has unique properties, so it cannot be interchanged with something else. It could be a house, or a painting such as the Mona Lisa, which is one of a kind. You can take a photo of the painting or buy a print, but there will only ever be the one original painting. NFTs are “one-of-a-kind” assets in the digital world that can be bought and sold like any other piece of property, but they have no tangible form of their own).

After minting a total of 10 NFTs, Annabelle sent them out to her contacts and previous clients with the goal to raise money to donate ballet shoes and art supplies to refugees from Syria through Welcome Home Jersey City, pricing each at 0.18 Ether ($380) and has already sold three for $1140.

In addition, after learning about carbon emissions used to mint and sell NFTs, Annabelle went on to buy a carbon credit to make sure the transaction of selling 10 NFTs was fully carbon neutral. 

“I recently finished reading the book No Ballet Shoes in Syria,” says Anabelle. “It got me thinking about children of families who had to leave their countries and everything behind. Ballet and art makes me so happy.

“So I got the idea to raise money to help refugee families get settled in their new homes. I want the money to go to buying ballet shoes and art supplies. I recently learned about NFTs in my Rocket Club class and thought it would be so cool to create and sell some for this cause.”

“Our members just learned about blockchain, cryptocurrency, and NFTs, says Alex Hodara, the founder of Rocket Club, “how these technologies are changing multiple industries, and how they impact the environment. I’m so proud of Annabelle for taking what she learned in class and applying it to her own business.

“It is inspiring to see her donate all of the proceeds from these NFTs to a cause she truly cares about and has decided to make her NFT series carbon neutral. She is a great example of how the next generation of entrepreneurs are socially responsible and forward thinking.”

Rocket Club is an award-winning, international tech entrepreneurship club for kids aged seven to 14. By the time members graduate, they will be certified in 46 cutting-edge disciplines including robotics, coding, blockchain, artificial intelligence, and company valuation to name a few.

Rocket Club is fully virtual with members from 29 United States, England, Ireland, and India. 55 per cent of members are on full or partial scholarships based on family income and 60 per cent of Rocket Club members are BIPOC. Rocket Club won the 2019 NJ Tech Council’s Innovation and Education Award, and Propelify STEM Leader to Watch Award.

Each day, Rocket Club hosts Rocket Club Live, an interactive, educational game show and Q&A featuring a successful guest. Guests have included the founders of Netflix, Beyond Meat, Warby Parker, Casper Mattresses, Harry’s Razors, Vonage, and Bobbi Brown Cosmetics to name a few.

• You can view a video Annabelle created to explain her NFT series here: https://rocketclub.com/stopandlovenft

• For more information on Rocket Club, please visit www.rocketclub.com

Catherine Bruton introduces her new book, No Ballet Shoes in Syria – a captivating story, filled with warmth and heart, with wonderfully authentic ballet writing and an important message championing the rights of refugees.

No Ballet Shoes in Syria by Catherine Bruton
Published by Nosy Crow

Available here from AmazonUK (Affiliate Link) and all good bookshops

No Ballet Shoes in Syria by Catherine Bruton

In the award-winning No Ballet Shoes in Syria by Catherine Bruton, Aya is eleven years old and has just arrived in Britain with her mum and baby brother, seeking asylum from war in Syria.

When Aya stumbles across a local ballet class, the formidable dance teacher spots her exceptional talent and believes that Aya has the potential to earn a prestigious ballet scholarship.

But at the same time, Aya and her family must fight to be allowed to remain in the country, to make a home for themselves and to find Aya’s father – separated from the rest of the family during the journey from Syria.

With beautiful, captivating writing, wonderfully authentic ballet detail, and an important message championing the rights of refugees, this is classic storytelling – filled with warmth, hope and humanity.

Catherine Bruton, who is also the author of Another Twist in the Tale, recently shortlisted for the North East Book Awards, and We Can Be Heroes, studied English at Oxford University and has been juggling life as a teacher, children’s author and mum for the past 15 years.

As an English teacher, she sees first hand the impact stories can have on young readers – opening their eyes, expanding their horizons, making them ask questions and see the world differently.

Her books tackle some of the big issues faced by young people today – terrorism, immigration, the cult of celebrity, the refugee crisis – in ways that are heart-breaking, often hilarious, but invariably hopeful. As her alter-ego Cate Shearwater, she is also the author of the much-loved Somersaults and Dreams series.

Follow Catherine on Twitter @atherinebruton

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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