The Well Newcastle Gateshead Arts Fund recently supported Seven Stories, a National Centre for Children’s books, and the West End Schools Trust to work together to deliver a reading project for reception age children and their parents/carers.
The children read and discussed 7 books exploring themes of identity, place, home and community in the classroom and then took part in wider reading sessions with their parents, using props to bring a range of texts to life. “My Story, My Place, My Future” was the overall theme and title of the project.
The project culminated in an exhibition at Newcastle City Library in the Summer of 2018 as part of the Great Exhibition of the North, featuring artwork made by the children, inspired by their reading sessions.
Up to 15 children per school (105 in total) and their parents/carers participated in the project. 15 teachers from across the Trust took part and attended training/CPD sessions at Seven Stories to enable them to create children’s literature programmes in the future.
The project recently published its evaluation report, which can be read at:
The Report highlighted that parents/carers, children and teachers benefitted immensely from the project and had fun. The children were more enthusiastic to read for pleasure and “went story mad”. One teacher said: “Singing and laughing and having so much fun, it really surprised me how much can come out of a book”.
The evaluation also spotlights key findings that can be used as learning for future projects. We are delighted to have been able to support such a positive initiative.