Local author sets off to inspire local children with rural school tour

A Newport author is visiting pupils across Shropshire as part of a new literacy project to enhance reading, writing and creativity in primary schools.

Lorna McCann - The Rural Schools Write, Read, Inspire Project.
Lorna McCann – The Rural Schools Write, Read, Inspire Project.

The Rural Schools Write, Read, Inspire Project has been developed by children’s author Lorna McCann in partnership with The Rural Charity – an offshoot of the Shropshire & West Midlands Agricultural Society.

The aim is to support literacy education in small rural schools by delivering fully-funded author visits and workshops to Key Stage 1 pupils for an entire week.

Schools were asked to apply for a place on the project and selected schools were notified last month.

The first workshop took place today at St Lawrence CE Primary School, at Preston on the Weald Moors, just outside Newpot.

Lorna, who was educated in Newport, will now go on to visit pupils at Lydbury North CE Primary School; St George’s CE Primary School in Clun; Brynhafren County Primary School in Crewe Green; and Rushbury CE Primary School in Church Stretton.

As well as encouraging pupils to enjoy reading and writing, the project aims to build stronger links between schools, business and charities.

It will also support the creative work of independent authors like Lorna, with the week-long programme designed to coincide with Indie Author Week UK – an official awareness week founded by Lorna’s publisher, Team Author UK, to celebrate indie authors.

As part of the initiative, Lorna – Amazon bestselling author of ‘Wendy and the Biscuit Tree’ and ‘Felix – the small boy with a BIG imagination’ – will talk to pupils about her writing career from Newport-based journalist to children’s author.

Children will enjoy a storytelling session and learn about the processes involved with writing and publishing a book in a fun and engaging way.

Mum-of-two Lorna will also share some of her top writing tips with pupils and host an interactive workshop which will encourage children to use their imaginations.

Children Will Learn About The Creative Process

The 37-year-old award-winning writer, said: “I’m very excited about this project and I’m really looking forward to meeting all the pupils and teachers involved.

“It’s going to be such a fun week. We will be using our imaginations, acting out some stories and getting creative.

“By the end of each session, children will have a much better insight into the work of authors and a clearer understanding of the creative process from initial ideas through to writing a story, editing and the use of illustrations.”

Lorna added: “Without funding from The Rural Charity, this initiative would have been a complete non-starter so I’m very grateful to the organisation for supporting the project.

“Between us we very much want the initiative to play a part in enhancing literacy and creative skills among children in rural schools were often, small budgets can limit opportunities for pupils.”

Ian Bebbington, Chief Executive of The Rural Charity, which is based at the Greenhous West Mid Showground in Shrewsbury, said: “The Rural Schools Write, Read, Inspire Project is a fabulous initiative and will be of real benefit to children in rural communities.

“Literacy is high on the agenda in all schools but particularly at primary level and an author visit can bring so many benefits to pupils including improving literacy, inspiring reluctant readers, building confidence and broadening knowledge of literacy.

“We’re confident everyone is going to have a great week.”