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Annual Wisbech Reading Festival goes online as literacy project launches two poetry competitions




A successful campaign aimed at improving literacy skills among children and adults in Wisbech is set to hold its sixth annual Summer Reading Festival - but this year there's a difference.

Last year the festival was held over five days in July with nearly 600 Year 1 children from the 17 local schools enjoying a variety of activities related to literacy, including meeting an author, exploring books in Wisbech library, music and word games in the Castle grounds and storytelling toether with related activities at the Wisbech musuem.

A similar event was planned for this summer, but like so many others, it is now not possible due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Members of Wisbech Reads held a poetry festival involving 10 local primary schools including Peckover. Robin Hine was among those who ran a session.
Members of Wisbech Reads held a poetry festival involving 10 local primary schools including Peckover. Robin Hine was among those who ran a session.

However, organisers were determined that it should still go ahead, and so Wisbech Reading Festival 2020 has become an online event

As in previous years, every Year 1 child who takes part will receive a book; this year it’s “The Music Man’s Song Book” by local author, Jon Lawrence, which is sponsored by The Library Presents funding. Funding has also been received from the High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire and Wisbech Town Council.

Activities related to the book are being sent out this week, to schools to use in the classroom or encourage parents to use at home. Activities will also be available on-line, including a storytelling activity, based on story dice and developed by the Wisbech and Fenland Museum. The activities will tie-in with the 2020 Summer Reading Challenge theme: Silly Squad.

Members of Wisbech Reads held a poetry festival involving 10 local primary schools including Peckover.
Members of Wisbech Reads held a poetry festival involving 10 local primary schools including Peckover.

Children who successfully complete the activities will be presented with an Arts Award Discovery Certificate in the Autumn.

Further details will appear on the Wisbech Reads website and social media pages.

In conjunction with this Wisbech Reads, which is a partnership which includes the county and town councils, Clarion Housing and local charities will be running two online competitions based on poetry during this month and July.

The first is for Year 2 pupils.

Members of Wisbech Reads held a poetry festival involving 10 local primary schools including Peckover.
Members of Wisbech Reads held a poetry festival involving 10 local primary schools including Peckover.

In March this year, members of Wisbech Reads took a poetry festival into 10 local primary schools. They worked with groups of Year 2 children to read and write poetry. The poems written by the children can be seen on the Wisbech Reads website.

The competition for Year 2 children will ask them to produce some artwork to go with their poems. The winning artwork will be included in the first Wisbech Reads poetry book and the winners will receive a Michael Rosen poetry book.

The second competition is aimed at children in Key Stage 2. They will be invited to write and illustrate a poem. Guidance will be available on the web-site and the winning poems will also be included in the Wisbech Reads poetry book with the winners receiving a Michael Rosen book.

Members of Wisbech Reads held a poetry festival involving 10 local primary schools including Peckover. Ann Hine was among those to lead a session.
Members of Wisbech Reads held a poetry festival involving 10 local primary schools including Peckover. Ann Hine was among those to lead a session.

For further details on the Wisbech Reading Festival and the poetry competitions visit: https://wisbechreads.co.uk or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WisbechReads/ or Twitter: @ReadsWisbech

Members of Wisbech Reads held a poetry festival involving 10 local primary schools including Peckover. Mike Forrest leads a session with pupils.
Members of Wisbech Reads held a poetry festival involving 10 local primary schools including Peckover. Mike Forrest leads a session with pupils.


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