Author school tours will launch Newark Book Festival 2019

NBF1Children’s authors are set to visit Newark’s schools as Newark Book Festival returns for 2019 with an even bigger programme of events for children.

This year’s theme, Home and Away, will be brought to life with tales from Newark and beyond, circus and carnival themed entertainment at Newark Castle, seaside fun, Paddington Bear crafts, stories from the moon and back, plus The Greatest Show in the centre of Newark to launch the festival which will take place from July 12th to 14th.

In 2018, the more than 30 authors, poets and illustrators that hosted talks and workshops attracted 3,500 avid readers and aspiring writers to visit the town.  This year, the festival will take over 12 venues across three packed days, including the Church of Mary Magdalene and the Buttermarket for the very first time, and includes an expanded children’s programme.

LincolnPeter & the Wolf will be performed at the popular Music for Market concert in the Church, while an 8ft tall living fruit and vegetable man named Froojamaflip and his friend, Fred the gardener, will be sharing stories of the spring-time garden.  Adambara and Zhim, an elephant and mouse duo, will tell the enchanting Indian Panchtantra tale in a puppet show for all ages. Both imaginative acts are the work of Lincoln-based theatre production company, Curious Creations.

The stories of people who have passed through Newark throughout history will be unpacked in a suitcase-themed show from Can Do Theatre at Newark Castle. “Roll up, roll up” tells the tales of the Ringling Bros. Circus, once billed as the greatest show on Earth, which came to the town from America during its travels. Visitors of all ages can also take part in a circus skills workshop with NSDC arts team.

Newark Book Festival Paddington SuitcaseCraft workshops dedicated to Darkest Peru’s most famous bear will be available for children who want to make and create, while a children’s 9-12 year-old panel highlighting the golden age of children’s literature will also give visitors a chance to hear more about the rise in popular fiction for younger audiences.

CWpic3NEWARK FESTIVALFor the first time, Newark Book Festival will hit the road ahead of the event.  Authors including Gareth Baker, Chris White, Ian Douglas, James Nicol and Thomas Taylor will be visiting local schools to work with the children through writing and art workshops, readings and inspiring a love of books and reading to all.

Sara Bullimore, organiser for Newark Book Festival, said: “We had an incredible turn out and response last year from local people and visitors from across the country.  This year, we’re building on that momentum to create a rich tapestry of events woven across the lovely town of Newark.  We’re partnering with more authors, local businesses and artists than ever before to make sure that happens.

9781406386288“From lively performances and spectacular children’s authors to calming craft workshops and storytelling, the festival is set to be an incredible celebration of the concept of home and away – no matter what that means to each individual person. We’d love for more local people to support the hard work of everyone involved by becoming a Friend of the Festival, visiting us or by sponsoring an event.”

For more information visit www.newarkbookfestival.org.uk or follow on Facebook www.facebook.com/newarkbookfest/ and on Twitter www.twitter.com/NewarkBookFest.

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Toddle, wiggle and waddle your way to a fundraising finish line

We all want to make the world a better place for our children to grow up in but why not let them have a go at making it better themselves too?  Here are just some of the charitable initiatives that are encouraging their younger supporters to put the fun in fundraising too…

RedNoseDayRed Nose Day 2019
March 15th, 2019
“Schools and nurseries helped raise over £5 million last Red Nose Day.  Join in the fun in 2019 and help us bake, dance splay and sing our way to an even bigger total…  Comic Relief spends the money raised by Red Nose Day to help people living tough lives across the UK and internationally.”

Skellingthorpe May Day 3K
May 5th, 2019
“Run, jog, toddle, crawl or even be pushed in a pram!”  An opportunity to raise money for a charity that’s close to your heart.

Peppa15Peppa Pig’s Muddy Puddle Walk for Save the Children
May 13th-19th, 2019
Peppa Pig is celebrating her 15th anniversary this year which is quite a huge milestone for a 4-year-old porcine pre-schooler but doesn’t quite match the centenary that 2019 marks for young people’s rights campaigner Save the Children.  They’ll both happy to celebrate together in May however when there will be much jumping in muddy puddles in aid of the international charity’s aim to “protect wiggle2children, give them a healthy start and the chance to learn”.

The Giant Wiggle for Action for Children
May 2019
Despite the seemingly endless source of energy the owners of little legs have, they can often tire quickly when walking.  Dancing, twirling and jumping, however, are different things entirely.  If your mini mover can always be persuaded to get a wiggle on then Action for Children’s charitable collaboration with the Very Hungry Caterpillar is the event for them.  And this year, in honour of the many-legged literary insect’s  50th birthday, the first 50 fundraisers to raise more than £200 will win a special gold copy of the Eric Carle classic.

PyjamaramaPyjamarama for Book Trust
Friday, June 7
Book Trust is teaming up with well-loved characters Matilda, Ben and Holly, Horrid Henry and Tracy Beaker to ask children to wear pyjamas for a day and help make sure that no child misses out on a bedtime story.

WearItWildWear it Wild for WWF
Friday, June 7
The world’s leading independent conservation organisation is asking people in workplaces, schools and homes across the country to wear an item of animal-inspired clothing in order to raise money to help protect our incredible world.  “Get fierce for your world.”

BigToddleThe Big Toddle for Barnardo’s
June 24th-30th, 2019
A sponsored walk for little people raising money to transform the lives of vulnerable children.  Warm-up with the Teletubbies and maybe even have a Teletubby picnic after your toddle to replenish your energy.

CiNChildren in Need
November
BBC’s Children in Need has raised more than £950 million to change the lives of disadvantaged children and mascot Pudsey Bear fronts the annual telethon which features the stories of both those who benefit from the fundraiser as well as the young people who help to raise the funds.
SantaRun
Lincoln Santa Fun Run and Walk
December 15th, 2019
2,500 Santas will set out on a 3.5km two lap fun run or walk around the historic Bailgate area of Lincoln raising money for local charities.  Organised by the Rotary Club of Lincoln Colonia.

BlissLittleHeroesBliss Little Heroes
Any date, any time
The superhero walk raising money for the 100,000 babies born needing hospital care each year is calling for families, schools and clubs across the country to don their masks and capes and walk in celebration of a little hero.

Toddle Waddle againsttoddlewaddle Meningitis 
Anywhere, anytime
“Small steps make a big difference!  All children can take part, whether they are in a pushchair, a wheelchair, crawling, waddling or walking!  There’s no minimum distance, so go as long or as short as you like.”

dendayDen Day for Save the Children
A date that suits you
“It’s easy – build dens together at school or take part at home, on a date that suits you, and raise money to change children’s lives.  The money your den-builders raise will help make sure more children around the world have a safe place to sleep and play.

Do you know of any other fundraising challenge specifically designed for little ones to take part in?  Let us know in the comments below.

Charity begins at nursery

SR1bDid you feel the world wobble last month?

We assured Willow that her and her fellow nursery-goers’ efforts to jellify the planet reached at least as far as where we were in the city.

The pre-schoolers were jumping, twirling, wobbling, bouncing and more all in aid of Sport Relief which gave both Willow and her brother at his school the chance to don their athletic attire and have sporty fun in aid of charity.

With many fundraisers such as 5Ks and 10Ks beyond the stride of little ones it’s lovely that new initiatives are being designed specifically for younger children too as their enthusiasm will more than match any daddy long legs.

Missed Sports Relief?  Don’t worry, there’s still lots more fun to get involved with.

muddypuddlewalk2

Peppa Pig’s Muddy Puddle Walk for Save the Children
April 23-29, 2018
The money raised by muddy puddle splashers will help save children’s lives all over the world.  Save the Children believes “that every last child should get the chance to learn, play and grow up happy and healthy – no matter where they’re born”.

giantwiggleThe Giant Wiggle for Action for Children
May 7-13, 2018
Wriggly wigglers can be inspired by the Very Hungry Caterpillar and raise money to help Action for Children support vulnerable children all across the UK.

BlissLittleHeroesBliss Little Heroes
Heroes month in June 2018 or your choice of date
The superhero walk raising money for premature and sick babies is calling for families, schools and clubs across the country to dress up and walk in celebration of a little hero as well as supporting the 95,000 babies born needing hospital care this year.

ToddleWaddleToddle Waddle Week for Meningitis Now
June 4-10, 2018
Help fight meningitis by taking a wonderful waddle with your little ones.  All children can take part whether they are in a pushchair, wheelchair, crawling, waddling or walking.  There’s no minimum distance and, if the Toddle Waddle Week isn’t well timed for you, then you can also choose your own date.

BigToddleThe Big Toddle for Barnardo’s
June 18-24, 2018
The Teletubbies are the celebrity faces for this “little sponsored walk for little people”.  As well as the toddle you could also hold a Teletubbies picnic or bake sale to raise funds too.

DenDayDen Day for Save the Children
Your choice of date
Another fundraising challenge from Save the Children, you can now build your den and get sponsored to sleep the night in it on whatever date suits you best.  Get creative, spend time with the family and raise money to help “children growing up in some of the toughest places in the world”.

Do you know of any other fundraising challenge specifically designed for little ones to take part in?

Children of Lincoln

Children of LincolnHave you heard about the Children of Lincoln project?

At the beginning of November Daddy and the two eldest minis attended a family fun day entitled Imagining a ‘Child Friendly’ Lincoln at the University of Lincoln.  They enjoyed some art and crafts activities and taking a shot at the Lincoln City Imps in the Community goal and had the opportunity to find out more about children’s rights and “Child Friendly Cities”.

UNICEF Child Friendly Cities initiative was launched by the UN in 1996 with the aim to make cities liveable places for all by putting children first stating “The well-being of children is the ultimate indicator of a healthy habitat, a democratic society and of good governance”.

The School of Social & Political Sciences at the University of Lincoln have been working with the City of Lincoln Council and Lincolnshire County Council since 2016 to launch a child rights initiative for the city of Lincoln and the fun day saw this aim realised.  Other Children of Lincoln steering group partners include the Lincolnshire Children’s University, Children’s Links, Lincoln BIG, Education Business Partnership, Priory Academies, Bishop King Primary School, St Francis Special School, LiNCHigher, Bishop Grosseteste University and LCVYS.

Now they can start work to achieving their aims.

“Our aspiration is to be recognised by UNICEF as a Child Friendly City alongside a number of other cities in the UK.  We aim to raise awareness of children’s rights in Lincoln, by holding events for children and families, conducting research and working with local services and businesses to help them prioritise children’s rights.”

Acknowledging that Lincoln is already a great place to grow up in, they wish to pay special attention to the most vulnerable children within our city listing children with disabilities or health needs, children who are looked after by the state, children who get into trouble with school/police, children who are young carers, children living in poverty and children who are homeless.

Find out more at http://childlincoln.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk/

Do you think Lincoln is a child friendly city?

Seven things I hate about school

#Blogtober17 – Day Five: Education

Before I start on this rant I want to make it clear that I’m obviously grateful for the universal public education offered in this country and that when I was originally bemoaning not getting the school of our choice for our eldest seeing Malala joining Twitter put my complaints in perspective somewhat.

But that doesn’t mean that I have to like all of it.

  1. The illusion of choice
    The majority of people were given a place for their child at their first choice of school.  We were in the minority.  This did not bode well for me accepting let alone embracing that it was already time to lose my first born to the school gates.
  2. The effect on siblings and the family unit
    Full family time was already at a premium due to working hours but now it is almost restricted to the weekend.  Holidays and days out are crammed into the same time and space everyone else needs to cram them into as we all roughly share the same term times.  Siblings are separated for hours each day, younger siblings get dragged along on the school run for no benefit of their own, loose their playmate(s) for most of the week and the freedom the eldest child may have been lucky enough to have known for the first four or five years of their lives is truncated for the younger siblings.  We thought Willow would miss Luke a lot now he is in his reception year but Luke too has also asked when Willow will be starting his school.
  3. Uniform
    I like a team strip but I’m really not a fan of uniform for uniform’s sake.  He has plenty of clothes that fit him already, why are we wasting money and the earth’s resources (the fashion industry is a huge polluter) buying him more in order to deny him the opportunity to be an individual and the opportunity to wear any bright colours or fun designs?
  4. The school run
    All the schools in our area are over subscribed so we knew early on that I would have to start driving frequently and regularly which, considering up until August I barely drove at all as I’m quite scared of the concept, is a very big deal for me.  It creates such a busy time on the roads and siblings get to waste double the amount of time in the car due to the return trip.  Anyone recommend some interesting CDs to listen to?  And my sense of urgency for getting to the school gate on time is rarely reflected in the time it takes the minis to get in and out of the car.
  5. Time
    The school gets the best of my son’s time.  We get the rush at the start of the day, the tired at the end and we’re always watching the clock in between to make sure we march to the sound of the school bell.  They get to see him learn, his wow moments are now shared with his teacher’s and not me and I lose opportunities to learn along with him.
  6. Influence
    Peer pressure and other adult influences will start to make a bigger impression on my child’s outlook.  We’ve already had gender limitations alluded to which I did my best to quash immediately but such labelling can be insidious.  It doesn’t help that he is among the many children who subscribe to the “what happens at school stays at school” line of thinking offering up exceedingly little information as to how his day has unfolded or even just whether he’s eaten or not.
  7. Homework 
    I was one of “those” children who actually asked for homework when I was in primary school even though we weren’t regularly set it then in the way children are now.  As a parent however, I’m not sure I approve of having too much set (if any) for such young pupils.  They already over tired from the school week, have such reduced family time at home or for truly free play, why rob them of more?

I know the answer to some of my genuine concerns rather than just grumpy grumbles would be to home educate which I have considered but, for now at least, he is apparently enjoying school whilst he’s there and his younger siblings can enjoy more of my less divided attention too.

All of this, of course, I do my best not to voice around him and I’m well aware that, after experiencing our first half term, I may well be writing a seven things I love about school instead…

Blogtober17

Sunday Sevens #4

#SundaySevens is a blog series started by Natalie from Threads and Bobbins.  Here’s my fourth entry into the series looking at a few of the little things that have happened in the mini ones’ lives this week…

1. Age appropriate behaviour

My eldest daughter is two.  We missed the terrible twos with Luke although he more than made up for it when he hit three.  Willow, however, started engaging in what our health visitor called “age-appropriate behaviour” before her second birthday and the bigger she gets the bigger her outbursts of “age-appropriate behaviour” get.  It’s been an interesting week…

IMG_3478 Babywearing
Look mum, no hands!

2. Beautiful behaviour

It pays to remember how much toddlers are taking in, developing and growing though and it’s lovely when it comes back out in more constructive ways.  Willow’s obviously been noticing me wearing Faith in recent weeks and wanted to try it out herself!

3. And just because

Icecream screamI love this photo!  My fairy-dress wearing, butterfly face-painted, ice cream loving daughter is, of course, amazing.

4. “Beyond my body and labels”

A friend read my Loving a designer label blog post about Faith’s Down’s Syndrome diagnosis and sent me this lovely quote from the book she was reading at the time.

I think it’s safe to say Haemin Sunim is far more eloquent than me: “I wish you could see my true nature.  Beyond my body and labels, there is a river of tenderness and vulnerability.  Beyond stereotypes and assumptions, there is a valley of openness and authenticity.  Beyond memory and ego, there is an ocean of awareness and compassion.”  The book title is The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down and it’s definitely going on my to read list.

5. With bated breath

Anyone else waiting for the decision on primary school places for this September?  Did the email sent out this week get your heart racing?  It was just confirming that we will find out after Easter.  It also stated that 94% of applicants have their first choice.  Which means they have already placed everyone so just tell us already!  (Really don’t want to be in the 6%…)

6. Holidays court ruling

Speaking of schools, this week’s Supreme Court ruling against the father who took his daughter on a term-time holiday has saddened me due to its wider implications.  We are very privileged to have a universal system of public education in the UK and we mustn’t forget that but family should very much come first.

7. They build you up… they knock you down…

Husband: “Hello sexy.”
Son, quite emphatically: “No! Not sexy! Mummy!”
Husband now has a new game…

SundaySevens