Stratford Literary Festival project aims to encourage bookworms - The Stratford Observer

Stratford Literary Festival project aims to encourage bookworms

IMAGINATIVE youngsters will be coming over all bookish ahead of the Stratford Literary Festival.

A project called ‘Exploring Stories’ has been launched at Thomas Jolyffe School thanks to a grant from Stratford Town Trust.

A series of events will aim to encourage children to read and explore themes through creative writing, drama and art.

Award-winning author Steve Cole will be visiting the school to talk about his Astrosaur books, and then each year group will take part in workshops, delivered by Escape Arts, Play Box Theatre and Kate’s Storytree.

The festival is also spearheading a ‘Hand On A Book’ project in the school, encouraging the pupils to pass on books to younger children they have enjoyed and outgrown. Other plans include a Bedtime Story Party, and afternoon storytelling with festival volunteers.

Festival director Annie Ashworth said: “Reading books, and sharing bedtime stories which are such an important part of the day, are becoming rarer among young people, and one in 11 children in the UK doesn’t even own a book, so we’re really looking forward to filling the kids with enthusiasm for books and the endless world of the imagination they offer.

“We are enormously grateful to the town trust for awarding the school a grant to make this happen.”

The school’s deputy head Matt Penn added: “As a school we know that a love of reading – with all of the observational skill, creativity and imagination that this brings – will set children up to fully benefit from and give back to the world we live in. At Thomas Jolyffe Primary we strive to create the experiences that will shape this and are extremely grateful to the festival and Town Trust for their support. This programme of events will have a vital impact on our children and be a memory for them to treasure forever.”

The festival is also working with Stratford College students to create short films about the event and the benefits of books, and on an Instagram project @stratfordinwords which will feature images taken by students of words that appear around town.

The programmes run alongside the festival’s winter weekend which runs from November 1 to 3.

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