New digital campaign to get families chatting, playing and reading together to launch in Manchester

13 Oct 2020
Hungry Little Minds Manchester

On Saturday, Read Manchester and Manchester Art Gallery will be launching their brand new Hungry Little Minds digital campaign to help parents in Manchester turn everyday activities into new opportunities to build their child’s language skills.

The digital campaign launches following our new research, which found that 1 in 2 (50.1%) parents would like more digital resources to help their child’s literacy at home [1].

The campaign, which is funded by the Department for Education, is currently being rolled out locally across 12 areas of the country including Manchester. It will provide families of children under five with lots of simple and fun activities to build their child’s speech and language skills at home, which families can easily slot into their daily routines and that children love!

To launch the campaign, Manchester-based storyteller Dominic Berry and artist Naomi Kendrick will launch a digital storytelling and arts event from Manchester Art Gallery on Saturday 10 October at 12:00. Berry will read The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler, and published by Macmillan Children’s Books, while Kendrick will complete messy play activities which are linked to The Snail and the Whale. The event will feature some artwork from Manchester Art Gallery and will be shared on both the Read Manchester and Manchester Art Gallery Facebook pages.

Over the next six months, the campaign will continue to share stories, art, activities, events, news and videos around the themes of chat, play and read with families on the Read Manchester and Manchester Art Gallery Facebook pages. Read Manchester and Manchester Art Gallery will also partner with early years settings, children’s centres, health visitors for homeless families, women’s refuges and more local organisations to provide physical home learning packs, containing books and learning resources, to families with children under five who have been most seriously affected by COVID-19.

“We all know the under-fives are like sponges – whether they’re babes-in-arms, toddlers, or pre-schoolers – they mop up every experience and every interaction with other people that comes their way. “That’s why it’s vital we do everything we can to share the good stuff with parents and carers that we know will make a positive difference to their child’s development both now and in the future. “The Hungry Little Minds campaign does just that and using the art gallery’s amazing collection to help bring the campaign to life is going to help make a real difference to children and families across the city.”

Cllr Luthfur Rahman, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Skills from Manchester City Council

“We are delighted to be bringing the Hungry Little Minds campaign to young families across Manchester, encouraging them to discover the joys and benefits of chatting, playing and reading together every day. Read Manchester wants to support as many families of all ages as possible to develop a love of a reading and Hungry Little Minds will help us achieve this mission.”

Alice Birdwood, Project Manager for Read Manchester

“Manchester Art Gallery is delighted to partner with the National Literacy Trust and Read Manchester to deliver Hungry Little Minds stories and activities in Greater Manchester. We look forward to sharing our collection of artworks and early years arts programme to support the delivery of exploratory activities that promote curiosity in early years’ children.”

Alistair Hudson, Director of Manchester Art Gallery
Hungry Little Minds launches digitally in Manchester with Manchester Reads and Manchester Art Gallery

Hungry Little Minds has officially arrived in Manchester! This campaign is all about chatting, playing and reading with your little ones! Watch the video below to see our very first storytelling session to celebrate the launch. Storyteller Dommy B reads, "The Snail and the Whale" by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, published by Macmillan Children's Books. This video features lots of beautiful ocean artwork, play based activities from Naomi Kendrick and it's filmed in the gallery's space. Why not have a go at Naomi's activities with your children at home - don't forget to share your pictures using the hashtag #HungryLittleMinds, we'd love to see your play sessions at home. Thank you to Macmillan Children's Books for letting us read this story! #HungryLittleMinds Manchester Art Gallery

Posted by Read Manchester on Saturday, 10 October 2020