October's theme: Language in Orbit: Poetry October 8 NATIONAL POETRY DAY
You don't have to do anything exceedingly ambitious to join in this massive festival of poetry, emphasise the organisers - just be part of it. An assembly in which children share their favourite poems or read their own will do, or a school anthology. Other events planned by schools include comic verse competitions; the making of poetry anthologies; visits from poets; a focus on poetry in English and other national curriculum subjects; poetry reading in the library and a "Poetry Blitz", with English teachers storming into classrooms and reading poetry. You should now have received your Poetry Society-produced teachers' pack and poster. Check out the Poetry Society website for events, links and a poem of the month: www.poetrysoc.com October 2 and 3 TIME TO READ ROADSHOW
Palisades Shopping Centre, Birmingham. First of the official NYR weekend regional events. Storytellers, book quizzes, NYR video launch and "commuter packs" (book, newspaper and magazine) for first 100 visitors. Full details of roadshows on the NYR web site, www.yearofreading.org.uk, which also launches its online magazine, Read Me, this month. Activity sheets on the themes for the year's focus months are also available.
TELLING TALES CONFERENCE at Girton College, Cambridge with Philippa Pearce, Michael Rosen, Kevin Crossley-Holland and others. Workshop topics include active storytelling; children's poetry and oral storytelling. It launches the Cambridgeshire NYR project. Details from Anita Chapman, University of Cambridge School of Education, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 2BX. Tel: 01223 369631.
October 5-11 NATIONAL CHILDREN'S BOOK WEEK
The Young Book Trust say that at least 1.5 million children will be involved in events this week. Schools should have received a free poster and can send off for a 20-page guide to organising events (send 40p sae). Available from October 5 is a "Parent's Pack" to help parents encourage children to get into books (40p sae). Book Trust, 45 East Hill, London SW18 2QZ.
October 23 SCOTTISH INTERNATIONAL STORYTELLING FESTIVAL
Taking as its theme the storytelling traditions of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, this festival has a multitude of family-orientated events. Contact: The Scottish Storytelling Centre, the Netherbow Arts Centre, 43-45 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1SR. Tel: 0131 557 5724.
October 6 NATIONAL YEAR OF READING IN SCOTLAND LAUNCH CONFERENCE at the Burrell Collection in Glasgow. Sessions look at early intervention; adult literacy and creative writing in the community. An exhibition showcases literacy and reading. Scottish Book Trust, 137 Dundee Street, Edinburgh EH11 1BG. Tel: 0131 229 3663.
October 7-20 EVENTS AT THE READING AND LANGUAGE INFORMATION CENTRE, THE UNIVERSITY OF READING
Teachers' Day in Children's Book Week (October 7) is a free course for centre members; Celebrating the Year of Reading (October 10) is a conference for anyone interested in children's books and Helping Your Child with Reading (October 14) is a course for parents. Coming on November 12 is The Role of the Literacy Governor. Contact the centre for full programme. Tel: 0118 931 8820. Fax: 0118 931 6801.
November 2-December 18 TOWSER AND THE MAGIC OF STORYTELLING
The Snap Theatre Company in association with Hertfordshire Libraries. A few dates are still available for this performance in which actors and audience interact to explore a story. It is touring primary schools in Hertfordshire and neighbouring counties. Tel Mike Wood on 01279 836200.
WATERSTONE'S STUDENT MAGAZINE
"FREE", partly because it is (from all branches), this launch issue has an interview with Irvine Welsh on "Writing 'Filth'" plus articles on success on the World Wide Web and teenage novelists.
The concept is simple: a large cloth bag containing a young child's picture book with supporting materials. Workshops sponsored by the Basic Skills Agency are being organised throughout the country to explore the contribution Storysacks can make to literacy at home and in school.
Contact: Neil Griffiths, National Support Project for Storysacks, co Pinehurst Infant School, Beech Avenue, Swindon, Wiltshire SN2 1JT.Telfax: 01793 421168.
* The National Year of Reading website is: www.yearofreading.org.uk