No more reluctant readers! (with Coventry Building Society)

Coventry Building Society (CBS) have a mission to get more local kids reading for fun before they are 7 years old.

They are generously providing thousands of books to local schools, but that was not enough for them. They wanted to be sure children actually READ the books. They knew (as we all do) it can be hard to get children reading independently, especially if the book has new ideas and vocabulary.

That was where we came in! We made 6 storytelling shows, especially to introduce six lovely books.

Each storytelling show includes key ideas, themes, images and words from the book.

Here’s an example: We wanted to help children feel confident to read Lubna and Pebble by Wendy Meddour. It’s a beautiful tale about a little girl who is a refugee and finds friendship and comfort in a pebble. (The delightful pictures are by Daniel Egnéus)

The story I came up with was “Pebble’s Journey”. It introduced Pebble the character and the word ‘pebble’. We used a real pebble so children could touch it and make that sensory conection too. Our story followed the tiny rock’s adventures across the world. Kids got to feel the spray of the sea, meet puppets and hear the call of the birds, as well as join in with lots of singing and actions. Our story ends where the book begins… the moment when Pebble finds Lubna!

After they had experienced the story, the children were incredibly excited to find out more about Pebble and Lubna! They eagerly took the books and started to read.

Every story is musical, colourful, sensory and accessible for ALL children including those have English as an additional language or those who have additional needs. After experiencing the fun, interactive session, every child can feel a sense of ease and familiarity when they get their books.

Here’s a list of all the books we are working with. Puffin Peter, Lubna and Pebble, Amazing Grace, Elmer,The Lion Inside and How to Hide a Lion.

Pyn Stockman and George Hoyle delivered 36 storytelling sessions in February. There will be another 36 sessions in Summer.

Here’s some photos from Courthouse Green primary School, Coventry (below)

“That was fantastic. We didn’t know what to expect. It was great that it was so dramatic. Its given us lots of ideas and inspired us too.” -Teacher

It was so special to connect with the children. They listened so well, joined in, sung, acted and of course they were were thrilled to get their books afterwards. We are all looking forward to our next visit and another 36 storytelling session in June! Thank you CBS!

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