As many of you already know, thanks to our generous supporters, sponsors and event attendees, we raised over £4,000 for the children’s literacy charity Beanstalk (formerly Volunteer Reading Help). We officially handed them the cheque on January 21st, at an assembly at Lena Gardens Primary School.
Beanstalk are a terrific literacy charity, now celebrating their 40th year. They work with over 50 schools in West London, training volunteers to read with children. The sessions are designed to be fun: by reading, playing and talking with the volunteers, children gain reading skills, confidence, and eventually succeed. Our donation will train seven volunteers, who can then go on to work with twenty-one local children during term time.
We’re glad to be supporting their cause. Since the love of reading starts with the ability to read, it makes perfect sense to channel our proceeds into support for nearby schools.
For more information on Beanstalk, or to volunteer, visit www.beanstalkcharity.org.uk
We spent a sunny Saturday talking books at the Brook Green Day celebrations yesterday, beneath bunting and banners. The combination of chocolate chip cookies and boxloads of free books – and the stupendous line-up of writers promised for October 29/November 8 - drew a crowd composed of puppies, children, entrepreneurs, lost souls, teenage hockey-players, pillars of the community and literary hecklers. (One man, aggressive, aggrieved: “I’m reading Chesterton, Herman Hesse and Knut Hamsun, so what’s this festival got for ME?”. Tessa, quickly: “Cookies?”)
Many people asked about the marvellous Mr Morpurgo, naturally, but there was a definite fan club for Artemis Cooper and Harriet Sergeant while the beautiful covers of Andrew Miller’s Pure and Kate Summerscale’s Mrs Robinson’s Disgrace were popular, especially among the French. Which is encouraging. Many thanks to everyone who signed on for updates. You are our core supporters. We loved meeting you.
Welcome to the Brook Green Festival of Books website. Tickets are finally on sale, via the Bush theatre website here. We hope you like the line-up so far. It’s a work in progress, so we will be blogging on-and-off over the months between now and October on all the updates.
We will be on Brook Green hawking our wares on Saturday 15 September – Brook Green Day – so please say hello then, or if you can’t wait, just email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and ‘like’ us on Facebook. We’ll then put you on our mailing list. If you are interested in spreading the word, we are looking for festival ‘ambassadors’ and welcome all thoughts and contributions and flashes of inspiration, whatever the source.
Susannah, Tessa and Miranda