Monday, 22 June 2020

Space on the Bookshelf –first talking event – Civic Square – The Front Room - Saturday Session

Image @_TheFrontRoom Twitter

So after blogging and creating story sacks for seven years here on SOTB, on Saturday 13th June we did our first talk. The amazing team at Civic Square Birmingham invited us to join them for their ‘Saturday Session’ virtual talk via Zoom.

Being passionate about Story Sacks, and how they are such a great versatile way to encourage children to engage, share and foster a love of reading, I was delighted to accept the offer. However my lack of skills and general inept-ness with new technology had me panicking as to whether I could actually work Zoom well enough to do a half decent presentation.

Images via @ThatNikkiBi & @ImmyKaur Twitter

Thankfully, I have family who are more tech savvy than me, so I had on hand tech support. Also any nerves were eased by the amazing Civic Square team, Imandeep Kaur (and her helpers) and Nikki B.

So I presented talk that I had put together introducing the concept of story sacks, going through their uses, and variations, (to be utilised and adapted for middle grade, young adults and even adults), plus tips and hints on how to compile them especially on a budget. Plus navigating around difficulties in getting the components especially for books featuring diverse characters.

With having a now large back-list (as it were) of story sacks, I managed to find either actual sacks of photographs to illustrate all my points. I also made some SOTB sheets on ‘Hints and Tip for making Story Sacks’, and ‘Tips on Using Story Sacks in Schools and Nurseries’. Please e-mail if you’d like me to send you the PDFs.

Everyone at Civic Square The Front Room, Saturday Session were all lovely and welcoming, plus enthusiastic, asking lots of interested and varied questions, and most importantly still awake at the end –phew! Our discussions have also inspired me to make some story sacks on particular themes – thank you Rob and Ivor! 


After seven years making story sacks, it was really affirming to know that people are interested in the posts, and talking about them really made me think of how to best articulate all my years of experience in making them in a way that was (hopefully) logical and helpful and interesting.

I’d live to say a BIG THANK YOU to Civic Square for inviting me, and urge everyone to visit their website to learn all about the amazing work they are doing: press here. or follow them on Twitter @CIVIC_SQUARE and @__TheFrontRoom

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