Storytelling school

West Lothian Storytelling Festival encourages young people to be all they can be

Craigshill youngsters will be encouraged to ‘be all they can be’ this summer with a range of book-themed activities designed to spark their imaginations.

Spark, the former Craigshill Good Neighbor Network charity, will launch the Craigshill Storytelling Festival on Saturday in partnership with Almond Housing.

Two events have been organized for the next week with funding from West Lothian Council’s Community Choices fundraising scheme.

They are launching a summer of projects organized by Spark in Craigshill with a focus on imagination and reading. The idea is to encourage young people in the neighborhood to discover lives “beyond their lived experience”.

Spark coordinator Jane Deary explained where the idea came from in her own childhood.

“Every summer school vacation, I watched the program ‘Pourquoi pas toi?’. Those of the same age may remember it too. It featured an array of activities that were impressive but beyond the reach of young people living in a housing estate on the outskirts of Glasgow. I remember thinking “wow, I would love to do this but it’s for the other kids”. But why should it be reserved for other children?

“The same goes for careers. Why should they only be reserved for others? It’s other people who work on television, other people who are in a band, other people who write books, other people who have their work shown in galleries or who bring people to see them in a show.

Jane added: “The spark for this came from my experience visiting local primary school career days and realizing that many children didn’t have much ambition for a career they would like to aim for. Stories are a great source of inspiration, and we hope this festival will inspire our children (and perhaps their family members) about the possibilities the world has to offer beyond lived experience.

She said: “We have developed a summer program which will launch at our center on Saturday and we are happy to say that the library will be opening its doors to support the event. The [West Lothian Council] The anti-poverty team plans to be involved and possibly the adult basic education team. »

The Saturday event is a day of family fun with free booths and activities promoting storytelling in all its forms. “We’re thrilled to have included an interactive storytelling session with The Gruffalo that could draw the crowds,” Jane said.

Next Thursday, Spark hosts “Why Not Me!” a panel discussion with TV presenter Gail Porter, local world record cyclist Josh Quigley, Diversity Scotland’s Tony McCaffrey, award-winning communications expert Sophie Robertson and local children’s author Scott Fleming. There will also be information stands from Start Scotland, Career Ready and the Credit Union.

Jane said the hope was that the panel would show young people in the area what is possible.

“It will help ignite the belief that these opportunities are there to be taken, no matter what your background.

“We want to introduce young people (and not so young) to those who have developed a career based on their passion and interests. Show them that these people were like them. They had challenges to meet and overcome. The fact is, they did. With focus and conviction, they sought out opportunities, developed their skills and networks and, as the theme of the TV show Why not you? goes .’ get out of bed to do something less boring instead”.

The Craigshill Storytelling Festival has a special finale on Saturday September 17 of “The Tiger Who Came to Tea Party”. A fun tea party with games, food and special guests.

Summer program dates are:-

Tuesday, July 5: Reading children’s book ‘Lifes a Beach’.

Thursday July 7: Aardman Animation Model Making Workshops & Community Cinema.

Tuesday July 12: Magic and Wizards Day.

Thursday July 14: Story Explorers workshop on the theme of space and science fiction.

Wednesday July 20: Summer panto ‘Cinderella’.

Thursday July 21: Wellness day with story massage, mindfulness and journaling workshop.

Tuesday, July 26: Horrible Histories theme and community cinema showing Livingston’s 60th birthday documentary.

Thursday July 28: Story Explorers workshop on the theme of the world and travel.

Thursday, August 4: Roald Dahl Day – Atelier Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with arts and crafts and community cinema.

Tuesday, August 9: Zine workshop.

Thursday August 11: Story Explorers workshop on the theme of maps, real and fantastic.

Thursday August 18: Story Explorers workshop on the theme of the jungle, mountains, oceans and all things wildlife.

Thursday August 25: Letter writing workshop exploring the importance of the letter through history and local author Linda Erskine launches new book ‘Limitless’.

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