Liverpool Children’s Festival of Reading

Rationale

In a city of real diversity, we are aware of the importance of children seeing themselves reflected in the books that they read and having a wide range of literary role models (authors/illustrators/poets etc).  The recent CLPE Reflecting Realities report showed that only 4% of the children’s books published in 2017 featured characters from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds.  Similarly, there are few books focusing around children with disabilities or those identifying as LGBTQ+.  We want to support schools in introducing children to a diverse range of authors and protagonists.  We have consulted with the schools who have recognised that this is a real need which they would like help to address.

What We Are Intending to Happen

The festival would take place over 12 days in late June/early July (to avoid a clash with GCSEs/A-levels) 2019 with each author delivering 2/3 assembly or presentation sessions each 45 mins/ 1 hour long each day to an audience of up to 150 pupils at a time. We would be looking to work with a diverse range of authors (including ethnicity, gender, sexuality and disability) and highlight texts with a diverse range of protagonists.  We would ensure that the events would include a range of sessions suitable for both primary and secondary schools (including special schools).

Around 5000 children would have the opportunity to attend an event with an author, illustrator or poet.  We are looking to provide each school that attends with signed books for their library.  We will also organise opportunities for schools/parents/carers to purchase signed copies (if appropriate).

Liverpool Learning Partnership will develop and provide a range of lesson resources relating to each book covered in order to encourage schools to get maximum engagement and enjoyment out of each author event.  Pupils who participate will be enabled to cascade learning activities to their peers in the individual schools.  We also will encourage schools to share related work with the authors and other schools using social media and school websites, thus providing children with a ready-made audience for their writing/artwork etc.

Although the festival would be available to all schools that are members of Liverpool Learning Partnership, we are planning to hold each event in an area of high deprivation, ensuring that events are spread geographically across the city.  Taking the events into the community makes transport easier and less costly (thus reducing barriers to access) but also embeds the message that literature is for all.  We also believe that holding events where several schools will be present will help to build an ethos of collaboration and community between schools in the same geographical area.

Having taken part in the author events pupils will be encouraged to reflect on the work of those authors and submit their reflections in written or artistic form to the Liverpool Learning Partnership.  In the Autumn term, a celebration event will be held to showcase these.

Getting Involved- Hosting Sessions at your School/Venue

We are currently in the process of booking author visits and thus are looking for schools and community venues to offer their space for sessions.  Each session will be attended by around 150 pupils so schools offering their spaces would need to ensure capacity for this and to be able to facilitate classes from different schools arriving at their setting.  If you are interested in hosting a day or half day please get in touch with Jenny on 0151 724 4006 or jenny@liverpoollearningpartnership.com.