Following the success of the initial Connecting Stories, funded by Arts Council England, Read Manchester and the National Literacy Trust are delighted to be able to facilitate a further 18 months of Connecting Stories activities. The Connecting Stories workstream has brought a range of books and literary experiences to children in Manchester and we are now planning the next stages following a second successful funding bid.

With more funding secured, we are reflecting on the busy programme of Connecting Stories events that have taken place this year!

During May, a creative writing competition exhibition took place in partnership with Z-arts. For this, anthologies containing entries from children and young people across Manchester were produced especially and then distributed to schools.

The second Take 10 challenge of the school year took place on May 10th with a wide range of schools, authors, businesses, community partners and libraries across Manchester participating and over 70 Manchester schools attending an Anthony Horowitz virtual event. The Harper Collins ‘Our Little Big Book Club’ scheme ran in 5 schools across Manchester, supporting parents and children to engage in reading during the summer term.

During July and August, a range of virtual author visits and community events took place including a ‘Look for a Book’ event in Wythenshawe Park, and a consultation event for the Connecting Stories Walk and Talk Trail, plus a storyteller and book giveaway at Wythenshawe Forum in August.

Connecting Stories has been a resounding success with great engagement and reach figures: it engaged with 103 schools and 9480 children and young people through author events. In addition to this, 57,749 people took part in the Take 10 wellbeing moment!

With these achievements in mind, Read Manchester look forward to another 18 months of Connecting Stories reading and literary activity in Manchester and would like to thank Arts Council England for funding this valuable educational programme in our city!