Excitement is building for the third Bootle Children’s Literary Festival, which takes place between November 1-13.
The festival is the brainchild of children and young people’s charity Ykids, and was set up to improve literacy levels for children by encouraging a love of all things story.
In 2020 the Steve Morgan Foundation gave Ykids £90,000 to fund a project called Kingsley & Co and pay the salary of a story keeper for three years.
The current story keeper is Debs Rayner, who has helped to organise the latest Bootle Children’s Literary Festival, which will involve 30 local schools.
The festival is free to attend and youngsters can dress up as a robot, meet Titan, get involved in workshops, enjoy a VR experience and watch amazing performers.
The time machine themed event will take authors, artists and performers into schools across Bootle and offer immersive workshops at Kingsley & Co, which is a Victorian explorer themed bookshop and cafe based in the Strand Shopping Centre in Bootle.
Claire Morgans, founder and CEO of Ykids, launched the charity 17 years ago to raise to improve life chances and well being of children and young people living in Bootle.
She said: “Bootle is in the bottom 1 per cent of the most deprived areas in the UK and the bottom 6 per cent of literacy rates.
“Literacy is life-changing and if children enjoy reading it can be transformational.
“The Steve Morgan Foundation was the first funder to come on board when we started Ykids and have been instrumental in helping us grow.
“Now we have 17 staff and work with thousands of children every year.
“The Steve Morgan Foundation helped us fund the role of a storyteller over three years and without them I don’t think we’d have a Bootle Children’s Literary Festival.
“The festival is designed to spread the joy of stories. It’s about encouraging children to read, write, create and tell their own stories.”
This is the first festival since 2019 because of Covid but the organisers plan to make it a biannual celebration.”
November’s festival will feature renowned authors such as Frank Cottrell-Boyce, world record-breaking explorer Alice Morrison, Liverpool’s own Levi Tafari and steampunk rap artist Professor Elemental among a host of other local authors, artists and poets.
In addition to school visits and workshops, the festival will feature two free family fun events in the Bootle Strand Shopping Centre on Saturday 6 and 13 November.
Ykids will also be launching the ‘Horrid History Map of Bootle’ an interactive map of old Bootle created by children during lockdown.
This beautiful interactive fold-out map features videos, photographs, quizzes and facts all collated and re-enacted by children and staff from Ykids’ Horrid History group during the pandemic.
Find the full program at kingsleyandco.org/bclf
Image credit: Lina Kivaka