In the last year we have been running For the Love of Books with children and their parents in 3 nursery settings across the High Peak, funded by The Clore Duffield Foundation and Awards for All. This was our first specifically focussed early years project which was managed by Katy McCall, a local artist who is also a specialist early years learning curator for Tate Liverpool. The work aims to promote a joy of books, learning and creativity at the heart of the family. We have established strong working partnerships with Gamesley Nursery, in Glossopdale, and St. George’s Nursery in New Mills and Fairfield Nursery in Buxton.
We delivered 10 sessions in each location, inviting a diverse range of artists to co-design workshops that nurtured a love of books through playful, open-ended activities. We worked with Anthony Hall from the Owl Project, Najia Bagi, Michiko Fuji, Frances Walker and Jim Medway, and have engaged a more than 130 participants so far. The work developed confidence in families’ creativity, with a focus given to children’s communication, early reading and literacy. Involving teachers, practitioners and parents, the work strengthened links between nursery, home and local libraries, with a chance to deepen dialogue with parents about their children’s learning. We also found a gap in professional development opportunities around ‘developing creativity’ for early years teachers and practitioners.