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Storytelling Month is an opportunity for us to celebrate the richness of people’s stories, experiences and different cultures and to raise awareness of the breadth of languages across our Hub areas.

The virtual initiative, which forms part of the National Literacy Trust’s Connecting Stories campaign, is to run until International Mother Language Day on February 21 and promote community literacies – with an equal focus on speaking and reading. It will celebrate both the value and skill of speaking multiple languages and the ways that these voices and stories shape our community.

The activities across the month will:

  • Improve representation of cultures, dialects and languages in storytelling
  • Empower our local families to share their stories with others
  • Give those who only speak one language the chance to be introduced to new languages they may not have come across before.

We recognise that communities often create their own stories and do not always use a physical text. So, we aim to promote a love of reading and dialects through fun activities in our Hubs but also central activity booklets, from across the country, which families or children can get involved in.

It comes after our research shows that 2 in 5 children who speak multiple languages:

  • want their multilingual skills to be more recognised in school
  • say that reading about characters similar to them makes them feel more confident about themselves and therefore want to showcase these community stories.

How can you get involved?

Across our Hub Facebook pages, we will be sharing a range of activities, events and storytelling suggestions or prompts, which you can take part in. This includes an exclusive storyteller event, a competition, scrapbooks for children aged 0-11, booklists for families, and at home activities to do with your children, whole family and friends.

Help support your child’s speaking and reading skills by having a go at our scrapbooks. It encourages you to share stories in your own language, explore cultural traditions, and create a piece of history to look back on in the future.

For parents or children who speak one language, this is the perfect opportunity to hear or learn about a new language, explore your regional dialect or a local folktale or fable which is unique to your area. Families from across the country will love to hear your voice and they might like to compare it to their experience.

Celebrating your language or dialect will help you build a sense of pride and connection in where you live, whilst developing your speaking skills.

Reading about characters from all different kinds of backgrounds enhances children’s reading opportunities to other stories and experiences. It enriches their world view and can help develop empathy.

Check out how you can get involved below:

  • Have a go at one of our three scrapbook resources, which are tailored to early years, children 5-7, and 7-11, to explore your heritage, family or life history and experiences, and boost the literacy of your whole family
  • Take part in our storytelling competition with master-storyteller Richard O’Neill
  • Read a story from our Dual Language booklist and Folktales & Fables booklists
  • Follow our Hubs Facebook pages for more fun and inspiring ways to celebrate you and the special people in your life

We are also looking for ideas and contributions from people across the country. So, if you live in one of our Hubs, speak another language, or want to share a memory, follow one of our Hub Facebook pages and send us a message.

Families and children will love to hear about your experience and it will give them the confidence to share their own.

Speaking about your favourite memories, singing songs and sharing books in your home language is a fantastic way to support your children's development at this time, while boosting their wellbeing.

Find out more about our Hubs and whether you live in or near one here. You can also find an author or storyteller in your area using our listings tool.

Resources

We have developed three scrapbook activity booklets, aimed at children aged 3-5, 5-7 and 7-11, which can be downloaded and printed. Each bespoke resource is specially designed for its specific age group.

These scrapbooks encourage parents to explore their heritage, share memories and experiences with their children, and promotes a love of reading and dialects, as part of the National Literacy Trust’s Connecting Stories campaign.

The fun activities are a great way to develop their child’s creativity, speaking and wider literacy skills, and help them reflect on positive memories, and create a time capsule.

The project, which forms part of the Connecting Stories Storytelling Month, combines reading with activities for developing their ability to read and speak in their first language.

Download the resources for free here: My storytelling scrapbook

More resources for bilingual and multilingual families or children

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