We round up what’s been happening in Verbal’s various Reading Rooms groups across the country in the past month.
Verbal’s SBOOKY scary book-themed festival for children was held at Foyleside Shopping Centre, full of funs and games, with zombie dances, face-painting, Harry Potter green screen, art and design and spooktacular stories along the way. As you can see from the video below, all the children loved taking part! Special congratulations go to Dylan Grant, age 9, from Burnfoot, Co Donegal, who was the lucky winner of our SBOOKY Treasure Hunt Star Prize, and received an iPad as a reward for his hunting skills!
In partnership with our SBOOKY Halloween Festival, we had the pleasure of hosting the very talented 12NOW author Claire Savage. Claire has written a very popular children’s story, Magical Masquerade, amongst many other short stories and poetry. The children at Oakgrove Primary, Sacred Heart, St Columba’s and St Joseph’s College thoroughly enjoyed their workshop with her. Chapel Road Primary School, Sion Mills Primary and Oakgrove Integrated also had the opportunity of working with our very own local writer, Felicity McCall. Thank you to Claire and Felicity for all the encouraging and inspirational skills transferred to the children.
Also at Foyleside in Easons, our Little Legends group looked at Owl Babies by Martin Waddell and Patrick Benson, learning about brothers and sisters Sarah, Percy and Bill and their lovely story, and asking if you have a brother, sister or best friend that helps you out and keeps you safe! Reading Tim Minchin’s When I Grow Up, the children explored their future vocations and ambitions, such as being a farmer, an Olympic gymnast, a teacher, an ice cream lady, a vet, and a footballer. Our Little Legends in Limavady’s Dry Arch Children’s Centre also had a great morning session with lots of fun and stories looking at colours and feelings.
Residents and family from Owen Mor Care Home at Culmore had another intergenerational Reading Rooms session as part of our My Home Life project exploring community engagement. Staff and volunteers were joined by Performing Arts students from Ulster University at Magee. Participants from Caw Women’s Group and Rathmor 50+ supported by Derry City & Strabane District Council Community Relations and Cultural Awareness grant, also meet at Verbal for an informative and productive reading session.
Young participants from Reading Rooms’ Extern Group who took part in the fundraising fun for BBC Children in Need with a special Masterchef challenge at the Verbal Arts Centre. The group competed in a special “Wonka’s Whipple-Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight” Masterchef with chefs from two local restaurants, The Pickled Duck Cafe and The Gate Bistro & Cocktail Bar. The children were given a bag of ingredients and created a dessert using all the ingredients, whilst being supported and mentored by their assigned chef and learning new skills. A huge thank you must also go out to our sponsors for the event – Eason’s Foyleside, Marks and Spencer’s, Foyleside and Joe Jackson’s Ice-cream Parlour.