I work at a local school, one day a week, on a literacy scheme called Storysacks. 11 years ago I was part of a group of parents and teachers who created a library of a 100 Storysacks for use by Reception children (age 4-5), Infants School teachers, older children with special educational needs. A Storysack contains a Storybook, non-fiction book related to the story, toy characters or props or dressing up clothes, a game, and information cards to help parents and children to explore the themes. Every week the Reception children choose a different Storysack to take home. I act as librarian, checking the contents of all the sacks, mending and replacing toys and games.
Currently I am designing and making seven new Storysacks to complement the new Early Years Core Book List. I love the challenge of making new Storysacks; interpreting wonderful stories and illustrations, designing and making educational toys and games which are robust enough for years of use.
Our Storysacks are really exciting and beautifully made, but more importantly they have a profound and long lasting effect on the children’s learning; and that’s what makes it so fantastically rewarding.
Last year I spent several months building a website for Myatt Garden Storysacks Library which was launched in September 2013 in time for our Library’s 10th anniversary. storysacks.spc.org
From September to December 2013, I was able to help set up a new Storysacks Lending Library at Beecroft Children’s Centre in South-East London. Children’s Centres provide a focal point for children’s services in the community – supporting local parents and carers, making sure all children get a good start in life.