Do you want to be our friend?

Calling all schools/settings in Coventry:

Many of you hosted or sent groups of pupils to the events of the inaugural Literally Coventry Book Festival last year. In fact over 6000 people were involved in events over the course of the week which included visits by such luminaries as Philip Pullman and such big names as Henry Winkler aka The Fonz!

The voluntary community committee led by Tracey McGeever of St Osburg’s Catholic Primary school are endeavouring to repeat and indeed to exceed last year’s success. The Festival will be held from10th – 15th June, and once again we will be looking to have a range of school hosted events as well as public events at locations across the city. 

One of our key principles is that these events should be free to participants. We want to widen the access to such opportunities to all those families that could not manage a trip to Hay, Edinburgh or Cheltenham Festivals but who are just as deserving of the inspiration such events can bring. Schools who host events also do not have to pay any fees to visiting authors or performers either.

However as you will expect there are costs involved in putting on this festival and, so far, we have been unsuccessful in grant applications to the Arts Council etc but we continue to try and we are tirelessly seeking business sponsorship across the City!

 As a further fundraising idea we have decided to offer schools and individuals the opportunity to become Friends of the Festival. For what we hope is the small and affordable sum of £50 a school would be entitled to use a logo, especially produced by one of Coventry’s most successful home grown talents:  author & illustrator Alex T Smith. Official Friends would have priority for booking places for their students at events and would be given first option for hosting an event. Host schools obviously make up the bulk of the audience at their event with small groups from other schools filling up the available spaces.

Naturally we would not restrict access just to Friends since that would defeat our principles but they would definitely get special treatment!

We do hope that you will be able to offer support to ensure that the Festival can continue to spread the love of reading and creative opportunities to your students. I know that all of you are all too aware of the increased government and Ofsted emphasis on reading for pleasure and the Literally Festival can play a key part in raising the profile of reading within your school and by becoming a Friend you will also be supporting your local community.

If you wish to take up this invitation please return the attached form as soon as you can. We have had lots of exciting offers from publishers and we need to match them up with school venues so that we can finalise the programme to start publicising next term

 Please get in touch with myself or Tracey McGeever if you have any queries or bright ideas!

Joy Court

joy.court@coventry.gov.uk

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