February 2021 Newsletter

Dear friends,

The longest January and now, the coldest February? With World Book Daynearly upon us and digital fatigue peaking, it’s the perfect time to hunker down with a good read and disappear into an alternative reality.  That said, there are some fantastic online events taking place over three days including the World Book Day Special – Bringing Reading to Life with guests Fiona Lumbers, Tom Fletcher, Rob Biddulph, Lydia Monks and LGP friend and masterclass author Joseph Coelho. His latest release, Luna Loves World Book Day, features as one of the nominated World Book Day titles that can be redeemed with a book token for just a pound.  So, get to work on your costume and channel your favourite book character to brighten the dullest of these late winter days.

Windows of the World

Our workshop leaders have been embracing online learning platforms and using it as a creative prompt to inspire the after school club member’s writing.  Using the concept of ‘Windows of the World’, each of the workshop leaders have invited alternative interpretations of how zoom meetings and the camera lens can be configured as a window looking into or out of a different world.  Monday club members have been dressing in role while Tuesday club members might disappear into an escape room, only to be freed if they can solve clues and hints.  Thursday club members are given an image to dream up inspiring captions or use their screens to enter into adventures cued by pictures and props.  It’s part of our evolving digital programme that seeks to make online learning as playful and interactive as possible which translates into creative energy and story making.  We’ll be continuing to work on this theme next term and look forward to sharing some more work with you next month.

Online, offline…

While it’s been a journey and a steep learning curve in developing new ways of working with our young people in a distanced environment, we’re delighted that the digital programme has been such a success and ensured high levels of engagement.  It seems clear that if we ever return to what we thought of as a normal way of life, many of the members will be keen to maintain a digital club because they’ve so enjoyed the creative challenges that new ways of working have offered.  But for some, connecting online has been difficult, either due to lack of resources or the broader pressures of home learning.   With huge thanks to the Brighton & Hove Soiree Rotary Club, we’ve been able to address this in part by making refurbished laptops available to some of our members.  But we’ve also sought to keep the Little Green Pig family close by sending creative packs to 10 children who have chosen not to join the digital after school clubs.  These are regular mailings of 4 mini books donated by our friends at the London based young people’s creative writing charity, Ministry of Stories, themed on continents as well as pens, notebooks, writing prompts and stamped addressed postcards to help them stay in touch.

One member of the Whitehawk Monday Club has been busy creating a tour guide for a mythical hotel where each floor is culturally specific to one of the four continents and populated by monsters inspired by their folklore.

So, wishing you a Happy Chinese New Year and all you Ox’s symbolising strength and determination your very best life; we’ll be relying on you over the coming months!  As we approach warmer months with the promise of a return to working with our children, young people and volunteer story mentors in a face to face environment, we look forward to updating you on a raft of projects that we’re itching to get stuck into.