Telling Tales – A Children’s Book Festival delivered in East Staffordshire by Staffordshire Library Service
- To deliver a Children’s Book Festival in East Staffs Libraries throughout October 2008.
- The book festival (Telling Tales) brought authors, storytellers, poets and illustrators to the area and gave children, parents and teachers the opportunity to develop their imaginations, gain confidence with books and inspire a life long love of reading and storytelling. Events and activities took place in the district libraries and local schools.
- The activities were delivered with funding from a successful internal reader development bid and in partnership with the four Burton Community & Learning Partnerships who contributed £4,000 to the project.
- The Festival delivered events and activities which engaged with all age ranges, including work with teenagers.
- During the festival we worked closely with local schools, targeting those who historically had no strong links with our local libraries. Realising that transport may be a major factor in this, part of the funding facilitated transport to their local library.
- ‘Public’ events, involving poetry, author talks and storytelling took place on the Saturdays during October.
- We successfully engaged with 27 schools in the East Staffs district and over 2,500 children, parents and carers attended the events and activities.
Key aims and objectives
- To develop a lifelong love of reading for pleasure and purpose amongst children and young people, their parents and carers
- To promote and raise awareness of libraries and all they have to offer.
- To engage children and young people in accessible cultural activities.
- To improve standards of enjoyment and achievement amongst young people.
- To build on the momentum and success of the 2008 Summer Reading Challenge
It was clear from the verbal and written feedback from the children, their parents/carers and teachers that they found the events to be inspirational, stimulating and entertaining. Many of the children came back into the library during the weeks following the festival asking for books by the authors, illustrators and poets. It was obvious from their comments that they had genuinely enjoyed the events and been inspired and encouraged to read more/something new.
For many of the children, this was their first visit/experience of a public library. When given the chance, several children took the opportunity to join the library on the day of their class visit.
Teachers reported that book discussions carried on back at school long after the events. On one occasion a teacher commented that some of ‘her boys’ who didn’t own books and never read, were actually ‘fighting’ over books when they returned to school following one class visit to meet an author!
The children clearly found it really exciting to meet the authors, poets and illustrators. For some it certainly encouraged them to read the books or to start to write poetry.
Link to the National Year of Reading
The Book Festival focussed on one of the key target audiences - children from pre-school to secondary age. It also targeted the parents and carers of younger children through special baby bounce and rhyme / story sessions. The festival linked with the October National Year of Reading theme ‘Word of Mouth’, through storytellers, poets and authors reading aloud their work.
Feedback from teachers
“Once again thank you for another super activities session. The children were really inspired”
“Dreadlock Alien was fantastic! Staff and students were raving about how good he was and are really keen to have him again, perhaps for a whole Year group/Theme Day on Respect or Anti-bullying. Heard one boy say on way out of workshop, "That was great! Wish we could do it again!" “
Kevin Reynolds (District Manager): firstname.lastname@example.org