Schools on right page for LitFest

Isabel Thomas

Isabel Thomas

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With St Albans Literary Festival only a week away local schools are preparing to bring the book buzz into their classrooms.

St Albans Literary Festival 2014 St Albans Literary Festival 2014

The schools programme offers children across the district the chance to delight in author stories, try their own hand at writing and discover new books, and is part of the festival’s key objective of promoting and encouraging reading for all ages.

Children’s programme director Jenni Blackford said: “The response to our schools programme has been fantastic and it has been a delight to speak with such passionate teachers from so many schools across the city. The fact that so many local schools have become involved highlights the positive approach our schools take towards promoting reading for enjoyment.”

Schools will join the festival’s celebration of National Non-Fiction month and engage in reading and writing non-fiction texts.

St Albans Library is hosting a session with slightly older children from Maple Primary and St Peter’s Primary who will be learning how to write a non-fiction text with the guidance of non-fiction author Isabel Thomas. Author Patricia Ikiriko will be helping children at Samuel Ryder Academy master success in her session that will guide our oldest school participants in a good approach towards study, giving them techniques that will help them in their crucial exam period and beyond.

There will be spooky goings on in classrooms across the city as festival ambassador Jonathan Stroud, author of the Lockwood and Co. series, will be presenting a ghostly talk to children from Samuel Ryder Academy, Skyswood Primary and St John Fisher Catholic Primary School. Author Dawn Finch will also be telling spooky stories to a slightly older audience at Samuel Ryder Academy and Sandringham School.

Tamsyn Murray, author of the Stunt Bunny series of books for young readers will be bringing giggles to the classrooms at Samuel Ryder Academy, Alban City School and Bernards Heath Infants School with Harriet Houdini and a hairy scary spider. Pete Johnson, a local author who has been nominated as a ‘reading champion’ will be engaging with children from Maple School and St Peter’s School in an interactive presentation that promises to inspire children to read for enjoyment.

One of the highlights of the schools programme is the Young Adult Day hosted by St Albans School who are welcoming children from other local secondary schools in a full day programme of exciting activities with six young adult authors; Emma Pass, Sarah Crossan, Natasha Ngan, Martyn Bedford, Ben East and Lucy Saxon.

In this interactive full day event children will cover topics such as story-building, sci-fi writing and poetry writing.

Unfortunately demand for many of the school events exceeded availability so if your child is not taking part but you would like them to be involved in the festival, check out the brilliant family programme of events on the festival website or pick up a programme from Waterstones, the Library or the Tourist Information Office.

There are family events for all ages and many are free or just £2 for a ticket. www.stalbansliteraryfestival.co.uk/events/children

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