Earlier this month, Birmingham Stories hosted its first ever festival, My Commonwealth Story, as part of the Connecting Stories campaign – in partnership with Arts Council England.
Over 400 young people and 200 adults took part in a series of events across the course of the week, which used the excitement and passion surrounding the Commonwealth Games to motivate and inspire people of all ages to engage with literacy.
Through a packed agenda of talks, workshops and panel discussions, attendees had the opportunity to engage with high profile speakers, showcase their literacy skills and think about what the Commonwealth Games mean to them. Events available included:
One City, Many Cultures:
- My Commonwealth Story: Project Celebration
- Young Birmingham Poets: Project Celebration
- Literacy and the Commonwealth Games: Get Connected
Birmingham, A Host City:
- Storytelling and Research: Interdisciplinary Academic Workshop
- Volunteering as a Literacy Champion: Panel Discussion
Read On, Game On:
- Darren Harris: Birmingham Adult Education Service Author Event
- Hannah Kumari: Key Stage 3 Author Event
- Sport and Literacy: Project Celebration with Manjeet Mann
- Team Readers: Project Launch
- Young Readers: Programme Celebration
All attendees received a goody bag and a free book of their choice from the Birmingham Stories team after taking part in their event. Over 1000 books were gifted to young people and adults across the week!
“Our students really appreciated the opportunity to tour part of the university before arriving in the lecture theatre. They were inspired by Manjeet Mann and asked lots of questions. They loved the goodie bags at the end. They would have liked to hear Manjeet reading more extracts from her books. It was lovely to offer pupils books to take away with them”Teacher who attended Manjeet Mann's author talk with her class
“What a FANTASTIC experience for our learners. They absolutely LOVED it. Darren Harris [the blind England footballer, who spoke to this group] was amazing and captivated our diverse party with aplomb. Everyone was just thrilled with their books. A happy, happy day.”Lucy Ellenor, Birmingham Adult Education Service
“It was incredible to hear so much enthusiasm surrounding sport and literacy at our My Commonwealth Story festival, from young people, adult learners, teachers and local partners alike. My experience of community collaboration throughout this event gives me great optimism for future activity and I’m excited to continue working with people across the city to improve literacy levels.”Kyle Turakhia, Birmingham Stories Hub Manager
If you’re a school and would like to get involved with the Birmingham Stories campaign, access a range of free resources and attend events similar to this, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on Instagram and Facebook.