Tell Me A Story: Arts & Literacy Festival

This Book Week (August 21–25), students at Brunswick East Primary School (BEPS) are learning all about what it means to tell a good story, and their experiences will stretch well beyond the humble book.

The week-long, whole-school festival champions literacy learning in the 21st century and features some of Victoria’s finest artists, musicians, community members, authors and illustrators, including The Itchy Scabs, the punk rock band playing “bad music for good children”; Alex Miles, author of the Olive Black and Zac Power book series; Gunditjmara elder Uncle Trevor Gallagher; and Footscray-based not-for-profit literacy centre, 100 Story Building, to name just a few.

For Brunswick East Primary School staff, good learning is all about engagement and community. “A good story has the power to bring us all together,” says literacy teacher and member of the festival organising committee, Mel Fulton. “For us, the week is a great opportunity for the kids to talk about their reading, writing and artistic projects with real-world writers and artists. When kids can see the purpose of something, and understand the possibilities for it, that’s when they really push themselves to make something special.”

Throughout the week, children will engage in workshops on subjects as diverse as idea-generating, comic book making, book binding, debating, performance, ochre painting, book publishing, oral storytelling, interviewing and poetry.

Between 5 and 7 pm on Thursday August 24, the school will be open to parents, carers and community members to come along and share in the learning. The school choirs will be performing, and members of the senior school will be performing a version of Macbeth from 6 pm. Written and artistic works produced by students throughout the term will also be on display in the learning spaces, and students and parents alike are invited to participate in an ‘open mic’ storytelling experience. Local book shop The Little Bookroom will be running a book stall featuring authors and illustrators performing at the festival.

On Friday August 25th, children will dress up as their favourite storybook character to raise money for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. The Itchy Scabs will close the festival with a live rock n roll performance on Friday afternoon. The Little Bookroom will also be announcing the winners of a whole-school short story competition early the following week.

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