An Exciting Project is Coming to Schools Near You: Bath Reads

A fantastic project is happening in our local schools, inspiring children’s love of reading. Bringing authors of children’s books face to face with young readers in their classrooms, Bath Reads is just one of the community events organised by the brilliant Bath Festivals’ Creative Learning Team.

Bath Reads is a hugely captivating programme, inspiring young people and binging positive difference.

So what’s it all about?

Authors and illustrators from the Bath area are visiting schools to meet children where they talk about writing and spark their imagination into being creative themselves.

Alongside this, bundles of new books have been given to school libraries and schools have been offered free or subsidised tickets to attend author events as part of Bath Children’s Literature Festival. Transport such as coaches have been laid on to take pupils and teachers to Bath Children’s Literature Festival. And, to top it off, schools will even be given signed copies of the authors’ books!

Pictures show author Sophie Kirtley running a workshop with children at St Nicholas Primary School, Radstock

Bath Reads is a brilliant way to make sure all children have access to live author events and to promote a love of reading that will last them all their lives. Hundreds of children in Bath & North East Somerset schools have benefited from Bath Reads.

The following schools have taken part; St Martin’s Garden Primary School, Odd Down, Twerton Infants School, St Michael’s Junior School, Twerton, Castle Primary School, Keynsham, St Nicholas Primary School, Radstock, Roundhill Primary School, Southdown, Weston All Saints Primary School and Moorlands Primary School.

Hazel Plowman, head of Bath Festivals Creative Learning, said: “Our children have all had a difficult time during the pandemic and projects like Bath Reads are a great way to connect them with authors and share the love of reading. I’d like to say thank you to the schools, the authors, the sponsors and Mr B’s bookshop, who have all helped to make the project a great success. We have some fantastic authors and illustrators who live in our community and it is a pleasure to be able to connect them with new readers and make the most of their brilliant books. We couldn’t have run Bath Reads without the support of Baillie Gifford, Curo and the Travis Perkins Community Pot.”

William Low, assistant headteacher at St Nicholas Primary said after Sophie Kirtley’s visit: “Thank you so much for the most inspirational workshop that left the children absolutely buzzing and desperate to start a new piece of adventure writing of their own. It was the perfect way to inspire a love of books and reading, and the children haven’t put your book down since!  We can’t wait to share these stories together.”

Authors also enjoyed their live interaction with children. Fleur Hitchcock, author of adventure books and thrillers for young readers. Including the Clifftoppers series and Murder at Twilight, said: “After 18 months of looking at schools from a distance and wondering if I would ever have contact with real live readers again, it was brilliant to work with Bath Festivals and Roundhill Primary to engage with the children there. It was a virtual visit, one of the few I’ve made, and the children seemed really positive, asking well thought out and imaginative questions. The thing that I love most about school visits, the interactivity, worked surprisingly well. It was a joy.”

These are the authors who took part: Fleur Hitchcock, Jasbinder Bilan, Emma Perry, Robert Starling, Sophie Kirtley, Emma Read

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