The Blackburn with Darwen Children’s Literature Festival is back to mark the book worms’ highly anticipated Libraries Week.
The week-long festival is packed with activities to encourage children from all cultures, backgrounds and abilities to read and write.
It’s the fourth festival that is being held in Blackburn with Darwen and was launched by author Christina Gabbitas, who believes it is vital to instill an interest and love of books in young children.
The festival director, and founder and patron of Blackburn with Darwen Libraries said: “We are all so excited about meeting the children ‘in person’ once again.
“We ran a complete virtual festival in 2020 which was a great success, reaching over 3000 children and families but nothing can replace the interaction of meeting in person.
“I’m very grateful to Darwen Rotary, Lloyd Trust, Darwen Town Council, Blackburn BID and Adele Karwatt and the staff at Blackburn with Darwen Library.”
There are over 350 literature festivals in the UK, however less than ten per cent are centered on children.
A 2016 report found that out of countries across the ‘developed world’, the UK ranked bottom on a table for literacy levels among 16 to 19-year-olds.
This is one of the reasons why the festival was started and it aims to inspire young people to participate in literature to improve their ability and skills.
Throughout the week, literature and arts professionals will be providing sessions to the children.
On Wednesday, October 5 author Michael Bradley, who is one of the festival patrons, will be talking about his book Teenage Kicks: My Life as an Undertone at an open event.
He said: “I’m proud to be supporting Christina’s mission with the literature festivals, it’s important for our children and families in our communities to feel included and valued.”
Authors Serena Patel, Dan Worsley, Donavan Christopher, BBTaylor, Illustrator Steve Weatherill and Christina Gabbitas will be staging read aloud interactive sessions in the Carnegie Darwen Library and Blackburn Central Library.
In addition to promoting the benefits and importance of literature, Christina will be running an initiative with Blackburn with Darwen Libraries and CILIP Greener Libraries to engage children with the Save Our Planet initiative.
Children from Blackburn with Darwen are invited to create a paragraph, produce a poem, story or an illustration about our environment, about how they feel about anything from plastic pollution to pollination and what we can do to help.
The competition will run until October 20 with a selection of work being exhibited in Blackburn with Darwen Libraries across the borough. The winner will receive a £50 token and selection of books.
Adele Karwatt, Blackburn with Darwen Libraries manager said: “We are really pleased to be working with Christina our Patron for Children and Young People on the festival and this great initiative to help promote greener spaces and educating our communities about issues that affect our environment. ”
The festival will take place in Libraries Week which is from Tuesday, October 4 to Saturday, October 8.
You can find out more about Blackburn with Darwen Children’s Literature Festival here https://www.childrensliteraturefestivals.com/blackburn-childrens-literature-festival/.