Fringe Box



Guildford Book Festival – Arts for Impact

Published on: 17 Mar, 2024
Updated on: 19 Mar, 2024

Karen McCombie entertains students during Guildford Book Festival’s Schools’ Week. Photo Fiona Digby-Jones

This year, the Guildford Book Festival will mark 35 years of bringing the nation’s favourite storytellers to the town. Amongst the bestselling authors and household names who have entertained audiences over the years are Joanna Trollope, Sebastian Faulks, Jeremy Paxman, Richard Osman, Rick Stein and more.

Click here to help raise the £5,000 target.

Importantly, proceeds from these events help the Festival – a registered charity – to deliver its Schools’ Programme, which takes authors and illustrators into local schools to inspire a love of a reading, writing and illustrating among young people.

These events are free for schools and each year reach over 4,000 children.

Next week, Guildford Book Festival has a special opportunity to raise £5,000, which would enable the charity to expand its Schools’ Programme to reach 5,000 students through more author visits, more illustration workshops and by making more books available to local schools.

Between midday on 19th March and midday on 26th March, online donations to the Festival’s Big Give campaign will be doubled, up to £2,500. The Festival is asking local residents to support its campaign and to bring these opportunities to more young people in the local area.

Nikki Nelson-Smith, Chair of Guildford Book Festival, said: “Research by the National Literacy Trust shows the positive impact on children’s reading after an author visit to school, particularly amongst children who have free school meals.

In 2023 the Festival’s Schools’ programme reached over 4,000 children. Photo Fiona Digby-Jones

Guildford has two of the four most deprived wards in Surrey, according to the Index of Multiple Deprivation. Children who come from”book poor” homes on average have language development 10 months behind those in “book rich” homes, and more than half of the children from disadvantaged backgrounds left primary school without reaching the expected standard of reading last year.”

“We know that there are many more children we can reach through our Schools’ Programme, particularly in our most disadvantaged areas, and this will be our focus as we move forward. We would be so grateful for your support, and next week there’s an opportunity to double the impact of your donation! Thank you.”

Click here to find out more and to support Guildford Book Festival’s Arts for Impact campaign

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