Merthyr Tydfil is preparing to host the largest children’s remote Easter festival in the UK, which kicks off today (Thursday 25 March) and runs through the Easter holidays.
The Spring into Action Virtual Educational Festival hosted by the Stephens & George Charitable Trust in partnership with the County Borough Council’s Chief Officer for Learning Sue Walker starts at 9.30am, and more than 2,000 schoolchildren are expected to join in.
Authors, poets and illustrators will be hosting workshops throughout the day and the event will be followed by a book hunt, with free Easter-themed books distributed on benches, parks and trees across the county borough, waiting to be found until the end of the holidays.
Sue Walker said the County Borough Council had donated £1,000 towards the festival. “The local authority are pleased to continue our partnership with Stephens & George Charitable Trust,” she added.
“Since the pandemic, the charity has undertaken a number of activities, together with the Council and other partners, to ensure that some of the most deprived children across the county borough have been able to access a wide range of books.
“This current project has given all schools the opportunity to engage with children’s authors through live events, again promoting reading and literacy and encouraging children and young people to enjoy reading.”
Charity Coordinator Helen Hughes said: “We decided to run the event to inspire and enthuse young people in education during these difficult times, through authors and poets. The whole ethos of the charity is to raise young people’s aspirations and desire to learn through education.”
Helen thanked third year university students Sophie Keep and Chloe John – who are both undertaking BA Honours degrees in Working with Children and Families at the University of South Wales – for their active involvement in the creation of the project.
The authors and illustrators involved are Neath/Port Talbot’s Reading Ambassador Mike Church, who has written many books including a number of children’s picture books; Osian Grifford, who has illustrated graphic novels and children’s books; Karla Brading who has ghost-written stories for Disney anthologies and two children’s novels; and Dan Anthony, who has worked as a scriptwriter on CBBC’s Story of Tracy Beaker and S4C’s The Baaas..