Money will enable expansion of Pop Up's work in schools
Pop Up Projects, organiser of the Pop Up Festival for schools, has been awarded three significant grants to expand its work.
The Esmee Fairbairn Foundation has awarded £176,393 to Pop Up for work with the Kent Special Educational Needs Trust (KSENT) to create a bespoke version of Pop Up Festival for 2,400 children with a diverse range of special needs and disabilities. The funding is being matched by KSENT schools with a grant of £75,000. Pop Up will commission 10 children's authors to create accessible literary experiences in sites including National Trust's Knole House, and English Heritage's Richborough Roman Fort and Walmer Castle and Gardens. The project will also involve training for 160 teachers, and produce mixed media resources to support continuing engagement with contemporary children's books.
From the Rothschild Foundation, Pop Up is receiving £137,461 to roll out its annual national schools literature festival across Buckingham and Oxfordshire. The festival covers 3,000 children in 13 primary, secondary and SEN school schools, as well as three pupil referral units. Participating schools are match-funding the award with £60,000. The project will provide 4,500 books to schools' libraries; 300 creative writing, illustration and storytelling workshops run by children's authors in local venues such as Waddesdon Manor and the Roald Dahl Museum; and creative professional development for teachers.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund has awarded Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature £60,900 to partner with Pop Up on "Eastwood Comics", which will involve 24 talented young writers and artists in secondary schools and universities in creating graphic stories inspired by DH Lawrence.
Pop Up Festival returns in June, in 56 schools across the UK.
Dylan Calder, founder of Pop Up Projects, said: "Through these three awards, Pop Up is extending its work across the country into new regions to deliver incredible, sustained literary experiences and opportunities for children and young people of every age, many of them in circumstances that would otherwise prevent them from engaging with live literature. The opportunity to work with so many children with special educational needs and disabilities and on a county-wide scale is a major step-up for us. We fully expect their experiences to impact on the authors involved, inspiring their own books and bringing SEN identities and perspectives into the stories they make. That all three of these programmes end with conference platforms for participants and partners to share outcomes, ensures these investments will leave tangible, meaningful legacies well beyond the scope of these awards."
Photo: Michael de Souza, author of Rastamouse, entertains schoolchildren during the 2018 Pop Up Festival