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News story

Stoke Reads invites families to Tales in the Park this summer

03 Aug 2023

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We're inviting Stoke-on-Trent families to join us at a series of free mini storytelling festivals across the city this summer.

Taking place in six local parks across the six towns of Stoke-on-Trent, these storytelling festivals make the perfect day out for families with primary school aged children throughout the summer holidays.

On Tuesday, we took over Tunstall Park to host an exciting variety of activities which encourage families to develop a love of reading and create cherished memories by sharing stories together. Over 600 children were treated to spellbinding tales from local storytellers including Alan Barrett and Dom Berry, drawing workshops from local illustrators, face-painting, crafts, pop-up sports and skills, and much more.

Tales in the Park will also bring the magic of stories to:

  • Longton Park on Friday 4 August, 11am – 3pm
  • Yeaman Street on Tuesday 8 August, 11am – 3pm
  • Burslem Park on Thursday 10 August, 11am – 3pm
  • Hanley Park on Tuesday 15 August, 11am – 3pm
  • Fenton Park on Friday 18 August, 11am – 3pm

With the generous support of HarperCollins, children attending will be gifted a free book to take home*. Our latest research shows that nearly 1 in 11 (8.5%) children in the West Midlands say they do not have a book of their own at home, demonstrating the necessity of gifting books to those who need them most. Book ownership is linked to success in school and increased mental wellbeing: as such, creating fun, active spaces like Tales in the Park is more important than ever to increase literacy rates in Stoke.

There will also be visits from local friends and organisations including the Little Library Van, where children can sign up to the Summer Reading Challenge, Storm Troopers in a Teacup, the Canal & River Trust, Circus in a Box, and the YMCA.

Lois Bateman, Stoke Reads Hub Manager, said: “We are so excited to welcome families to our series of summertime storytelling festivals. Last year, over 4,000 people came to Stoke’s wonderful green spaces to celebrate the magic of reading, and we can’t wait to do it all over again. With lots of fun activities to enjoy, free books up for grabs and the opportunity to join the Summer Reading Challenge with Stoke-on-Trent Libraries, we hope to inspire families to fall in love with stories this summer.

“We know how strong the link is between access to literacy, increased mental wellbeing, and greater success at school. That’s why our Tales in the Park events are so powerful – they create fun, active and exciting spaces for local families to get excited about stories and engage with literacy.”

We organised Tales in the Park in partnership with Stoke-on-Trent Libraries to inspire children to enjoy reading and support parents to encourage their children’s literacy skills through the summer holidays and beyond.

Tales in the Park events are free to attend. Pre-booking is advised where possible using this link, while registration will also be available on the day. Families can sign up to receive Facebook reminders on the Stoke Reads Facebook page.

[*] Free books available one per child and while stocks last. Activities and organisations attending may vary between events.

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