This year, the National Literacy Trust is establishing Storytelling Month to promote multilingualism among families and children across its 14 hubs around the UK. It comes as part of its Connecting Stories campaign and will run until the 21st of February, also known as International Mother Language Day.
The Trust hopes that the month will not only improve childrens’ reading and speaking skills but also improve the quality of representation and cultural access. Based on their research, ⅓ of children in the UK do not feel adequately represented in the books they read and ⅖ of them find that their confidence improves the more they read books that reflect their identities. ⅖ of children have also said they want to improve their multilingual abilities.
Bradford Stories Manager, Imran Hafeez, says: “Literacy is not just about reading and writing, it’s also about the ability to express ourselves and be heard. This is something we’re focused on at the National Literacy Trust. Having strong literacy skills can strengthen communities and enables us to celebrate our identities. When people feel like they have the chance to tell their stories and can listen to others, this helps us create empathy and form connections.”
Throughout the month, the National Literacy Trust will be hosting a variety of free activities in-person and online. For example, storytelling videos will be uploaded onto the Facebook pages of their different hubs. They are also hosting two competitions: one for storytelling with master storyteller Richard O’Neill and another for creative writing. Stories in various languages, ranging from Romanian and Mandarin Chinese, will also be uploaded onto their website. Meanwhile, hub volunteers will be inviting families and children to activities that promote the use of the mother tongue.
For more information about Storytelling Month, visit this link.