Today sees the start of the Guernsey Literary Festival, which runs until Saturday, 15th September, and The Reader Organisation is well and truly making its mark, sending off three members of staff to the Channel Islands to spread the joys of shared reading.
The next few days will be particularly exciting as we’ll be hosting our very first Portable Ha’Penny Readings outside of Liverpool at the festival, with a packed schedule full of fun, entertainment and, of course, tons of stories and poems. To tell us more about what will be happening this week, here’s Anna Fleming, Young People’s Project Worker:
This week I am off to Guernsey to introduce the island to the joys of Get Into Reading. Our children’s Christmas reading extravaganza, the Ha’Penny Readings, will be adjusting to the September slot (even though I think it’s a bit early for seasonal joy). 200 young people aged 8-13 will be coming along to Ha’Penny Readings throughout the week. They will be entertained by various performers – our Patrick Fisher will be acting as MC extraordinaire, there will be music, singing and lots of readings from our new publication A Little, Aloud for Children. We have had lots of fun deciding which extracts and poems to read at the event – I am particularly looking forward to reading my favourite poem, Instructions by Neil Gaiman.We will also deliver some outreach sessions in the Guernsey community. One evening we will join a van ‘The Artsmobile’ which tours housing estates to engage young people in different arts activities. We will set up Get Into Reading groups on the streets, using the humour of Cosmic by Frank Cotrell Boyce or the terror of Dracula to engage kids who could range from 4-18.
On Wednesday Sophie Povey will be joining us to deliver an A Little, Aloud workshop for the festival’s corporate sponsors.
Our other session is in a care home with a dementia group of up to 20 residents. We’ve selected some great poems from A Little, Aloud for Children – Matilda by Hilaire Belloc and The Lion and Albert by Marriott Edgar which we hope will prompt some happy memories.
I’m looking forward to introducing all these people to Get Into Reading – through the Ha’Penny Readings and the outreach events we will reach up 1,200 people! With a beach like this close at hand, I think we should have a lovely week.
We’ll be rounding off the week at the festival with a public Portable Ha’Penny Readings event for children and families on Saturday 15th September at 11am in St James Concert and Assembly Hall. To reserve free tickets, visit the Guernsey Literary Festival website.