May 8, 2017

Spreading the Love of Reading

The past week has involved a couple of inspiring events for me that have focused on promoting a love of reading in disadvantaged communities.

StoryBoard
Last week, Byron Writers Festival (of which I’m the Chair) launched our StoryBoard Bus, a travelling creative writing program bringing authors and illustrators into schools across the Northern Rivers region of NSW. We are particularly focusing on under-resourced and disadvantaged school groups. The bus was unveiled by special guest, Leigh Hobbs the Australia's 2017 Children's Laureate. StoryBoard will run more than 100 free school visits and master classes each year for the next three years, with authors including Tristan Bancks, Samantha Turnbull, Lucas Proudfoot, Zanni Louise,  Sarah Armstrong, Oliver Phommavanh, Jesse Blackadder and other authors still to be announced. The bus and the program are the result of a huge effort by the Festival team and members of the Board and from support from Create NSW and the Australian government's Stronger Communities program for funding the bus and to the Catalyst program, which supports the ongoing delivery of StoryBoard. A really incredible achievement and seeing it unveiled made all the volunteer hours worthwhile.


Room to Read
I’ve just arrived back from Victoria where my son goes to school. His boarding house organised a charity night where they raised over $10,000 for Room to Read which is an organisation which transforms the lives of millions of children in developing countries by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education.  Room to Read invests in nearly one million children each year so the fundraising efforts of all the boys in the house will help a little bit to contributing to that goal.


So, it’s been quite an inspiring week of being involved in wonderful projects that are focusing on a love of reading. Have you been involved in any inspiring projects lately, I’d love to hear about it.

12 comments:

  1. What an awesome project, Jen! You are kicking ass as chair of the Byron Writer's Festival!

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    1. Thanks, Amy. Lots of work but very rewarding.

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  2. Wow, Jen, talk about awesome-sauce-ness! Amy is right -- you're doing the BEST job as chair of the Byron Writer's Festival. :-) Must be so exciting to see such a wonderful project get up and running, though. Well done to everyone involved.

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    1. Thanks, Michelle. It really is a wonderful organisation. Now is one of the busiest times as the Festival program is taking shape ready for launch in a few weeks time.

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  3. Great going, Jennifer. This is a wonderful project and I hope you are proud of your input and all the hard work.

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  4. Hi Jennifer

    What a fabulous idea getting kids to read is the best I started reading young and have never looked back and am always pushing my grandkids to read woohoo.

    I am not involved with anything like that at the moment good on you all that hard work will pay off and we will have a bunch of happy readers :)

    Have Fun
    Helen

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    1. Thanks, Helen. Getting kids to love reading is so important, isn't it.

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  5. Wow! Brilliant! So cool! Love love everything I just read, Jen. Times like this I WISH I wrote children's books so I could dive into such ventures. I've given creative writing talks in my kids classrooms but always ask the teachers to keep my writing name out of it, just in case they go googling :).

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    1. I wish I wrote children's books too, Ally. Shame there aren't more hours in a day! Great that you are in classrooms inspiring kids.

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  6. Nothing inspiring... got some details about the changes that will be happening over the next 2-4ish years at work today.
    My main 'action' point at present is identifying what changes I can make on things that are in my control for areas of life that could do with improvement.

    I love all that you and your community are doing to help to promote reading

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  7. Sounds like you have quite a bit going on at the moment, Lyn.

    It is fantastic to be involved in such a wonderful community initiative.

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