the big read

Write on in the West Midlands

An unmissable creative education event in 2016 for Birmingham and the West Midlands, The Big Read celebrated the region’s creativity as well as the written word.

We worked with presenting partners The Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham and Wesleyan, in association with the National Literacy Trust and Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity.

A bestseller

More than 130 schools and community groups decorated benches shaped as open books with designs inspired by their favourite novels, comics, poems and prose. As part of the event, the National Literacy Trust offered its high-quality Reading for Enjoyment training in Birmingham to teachers whose schools opted for the Hardback Package.

The adorned BookBenches – 175 in total – were displayed around the region in cultural hubs, leisure complexes and shopping centres to create a series of free indoor art trails, giving everybody the opportunity to enjoy young people’s creativity during the summer holidays of 2016.

Summer fun

The BookBench displays were complemented by a programme of activities in venues to spark everybody’s interest in reading and writing, such as poetry slams, story-telling sessions, creative writing workshops and comic book illustration. The Big Read became an official Children’s University Learning Destination.

After the display the BookBenches were returned to the schools and community groups that decorated them, becoming lasting features of libraries, book corners and outside learning environments.

Yvonne Maddison at Forest Oak School said: “It was a fantastic experience to encourage every child in both our MLD and PMLD schools to take part. They really enjoyed working together and seeing a finished product that was going to be displayed in a public forum. All children were very proud of their achievements as were the staff at both schools – a very creative and fun experience!”