Much loved BBC broadcaster Clare Balding is just one of the brilliant authors secured for this year’s Jersey Festival of Words Santander International Schools Programme.
Kindly sponsored by Santander International, the festival will offer book-based celebrations for the Island’s primary and secondary schools, with tickets at no cost. Clare Balding will be talking about her book The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop, described by children’s author Jacqueline Wilson as ‘a heart-warming story with a great girl power message’.
Other writers confirmed for the primary school programme include Jason Rohan, whose The Stone of Kuromori brings thrilling Japanese folklore into the age of Pokemon; Dave Lowe, known for his My Hamster series, with his new series called Dadventures and comic performance poet Joshua Seigal.
Secondary school events already lined up will feature writers including Kevin Brooks, multi-award-winning author of the dystopian Running with the Deathland Dogs; neuroscientist and comedian Dean Burnett on his book The Idiot Brain: What Your Head is Really Up To; and Penny Joelson, whose work with disabled children gave her the insight to write I Have No Secrets, a thriller with a 14-year-old girl with cerebral palsy as its central character.
Family-friendly events and schools presentations have been an important part of the Jersey Festival of Words since it was launched in 2015, with the complementary aims of bringing star writers to the Island, stimulating home-grown creative writing and supporting education, heritage and event-led tourism.
More than 3,000 Island children enjoyed events at the Opera House and in schools during last year’s festival, and, thanks to Santander International’s generous support meaning all tickets are again free, it’s hoped this number will reach 4,000 this year.
Jersey Festival of Words chairman Jennifer Bridge said: ‘We are really thrilled once again to be bringing renowned writers and artists to the Island to stimulate, engage, entertain and inspire Jersey children with a love of words in all their forms. We will be in touch with all schools shortly so they can book their seats and are sure to see full houses at the venues.’
‘Santander International is proud to support its local community and we’re delighted to be sponsoring the Jersey Festival of Words Santander International Schools Programme. We’re excited to be involved in such a great initiative to get so many well-known children’s book authors over to Jersey’ added James Pountney, managing director for Santander International.
The third Jersey Festival of Words will take place at venues around St Helier from 27 September to 1 October at venues around St Helier including the Jersey Opera House, the Jersey Arts Centre and the Jersey Library.
More announcements will be made soon.
The photo was taken at Jersey College Prep, in front of the new ‘children’s favourite books’ mural in their library. On the left in the back row is Paul Bisson, Jersey Festival of Words vice-chairman, and on the right is James Pountney, managing director of Santander International.