While planning WordUP, we realised that we were going to need a little outside help to sustain this project throughout the course of the year. As we were targeting young people and their literacy skills, the best place to start was by reaching out to local schools. We partnered up with educators and school administrators in Frome to able to explain to them the importance of reading and writing and to get them involved with the project. We also wanted to explain to teachers themselves how important it was to encourage literacy within their classrooms. Solving the literacy problem in Frome was a community investment and every helping hand was one step closer toward fixing that problem.
So we had schools on board, but what would we do in the classrooms? Since we wanted to make it fun for the kids, we thought about bringing in writers and authors to educate them on the subject. Authors demonstrating to them the different aspects of writing through sessions on poetry, scriptwriting, and other literary mediums in an engaging way that allowed them to use their creativity without limitations. They would be able to write any story they wanted to write about and get back to the core of what writing and reading truly was. To bring the writers in, we joined with Bath Festivals and local Frome publisher, Chicken House, so that they could help organise author events at the schools. We weren’t just thinking about the kids either, we wanted to reach out to teachers too. So, we decided to team up with children’s author, Steve Voake so that he could help teachers learn more about writing and new ways to get their students involved with the subject through various writing activities.
This was a good start, but we still wanted to go bigger, to reach out further beyond just the local schools. In doing so, we talked to Bath Spa University and teamed up with their partnership initiative Paper Nations, which is a programme of creative investigation and dialogue that hopes to be a resource to help sustain the culture of support for writing so that young people can develop their talents. We also teamed up with Bath Festivals, a festival that merges music, art and literature culture and brings these events to the community for them to enjoy and learn about to get students on a school trip from Frome to enjoy the literary events.
Aside from these organisations, Frome Town Council, local festivals in Frome as well as supermarkets, shops, employers, libraries and artists all threw in their helping hand to the project. With this, everyone we could think of to help out was involved in pushing WordUP forward and keep it running throughout the year.