We identified the issue, did our research and now it was time to start putting together a plan. We thought about how exactly we were going to tackle the literacy problem. One thing was certain, we were going to throw away the rulebook. WordUP was not going to follow your typical English lesson plan, but it had to be fun, exciting and engaging for everyone involved while still maintaining the importance of reading and writing. To achieve this, we wanted to go back to the core of what makes literacy so enjoyable. We wanted to show how valuable it is to be able to express yourself or have the ability to take people to other worlds in a matter of sentences. We wanted young people to have a space to tap into their creativity without any rules behind what it means to write and read and express yourself through words. As well as be able to voice themselves and realise the power of words and how to use them to their advantage.
To start, we thought what better day to kick off the project than on National Writing Day on 21 June 2017. On this day, there would be events and activities that would stretch out over the course of a year. Then we would end the year-long project on National Writing Day again with a showcase to celebrate the experience.
Since we were targeting the literacy problem in young people, the place we thought to reach out were schools. Targeting first to middle school children. Aside from schools, we would get the entire community involved. We wanted for this to be an experience and engaging for everyone. We also considered not only addressing children but teachers as well. These educators were the people there were inspiring these young people and we wanted to create an event tailored just for them to inform them about approaching writing in a new way that provides them with information and exciting writing activities that they can take back to the classrooms.
Aside from schools, we would hold the events in various venues across Frome. Places we thought about were libraries, Hunting Raven Books, La Strada, Sam’s Kitchen, Rook Lane, The Silk Mill, Forward Space, the College, Merlin Theatre, Memorial Theatre, Westway Cinema, HubNub, Rye Bakery, the Cheese and Grain, and Frome FM. We thought of having indoor and outdoor events that made literacy as interactive as possible. There would be pop-up events in Westway Shopping Centre and supermarkets around the town that were held over two weekends. We also thought of linking up with Sport’s Fest, Frome Children’s Festival, The Independent Market, Frome Festival and other festivals around the county. We would collaborate with these venues to bring the component of reading, writing, speaking and words to the community.
For the final event, we wanted Frome to be immersed in words that emphasised the importance of literacy and reading. We would have quotes displayed all over the town. Some of the quotes would be from children’s books and the children would have to engage with them and guess the name and author of the book. Each of these events would suit the age and abilities of the children, including SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities).
WordUP would be a year-long programme that corresponds with National Writing Day, June 2017 to June 2018. To publicise this programme we would connect through social media and through printed media. Social media would be through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Printed media would be through magazines, newspapers and Frome FM. WordUP would be promoted in schools and would have banners displayed in the town centre for National Writing Day 2018.