Ed Finch writes;
On April 1st 2017 some of the most exciting people in the world of books and reading came to a little school in East Oxford and worked together to create the year’s most distinctive day of reading, thinking, discussion and fun.
We had Simon Smith (@smsimon) talking about his life as a reader, Martin Galway (@GalwayMr) on the many splendoured thing that is reading itself, Andrew Moffat (@moffat_andrew) told us about his ‘No Outsiders’ approach to creating an inclusive school ethos through picturebooks, Nick Swarbrick (@nickswarb) made us think hard about the relationship between home, school and reading, Mary Roche (@marygtroche) inspired us with her intimate dialogical approach for developing critical readers.
Author Piers Torday (@PiersTorday) spoke movingly in an intimate interview with Simon Smith, Darren Chetty (@rapclassroom) challenged us to percieve the hidden bias that excludes children from the mainstream of literature, Rhoda Wilson (@TemplarWilson) helped us think about how we could deliver guided reading to our whole class, Sue Cowley (@Sue_Cowley) led workshop particpants through the steps it might take to get their own book from their laptop to the bookshop shelf and the wonderful Mini Grey (@bonzetta) showed particpants how to make their own fliping, folding, surprising little books.
I’ve left so many people out – the Story Museum were there and Chris Smith of Storytelling Schools…. so many more.
For participants the day was a feast, we learned, laughed, enjoyed, debated and made new friends.
Last year, 2018, the second Reading Spree was snowed off when the Beast from the East smashed into Britain making travel too hazardous for people to get to us safely. Undaunted we set up another event in the spring of 2019 and welcomed another round of great speakers – Ian Eagleton moved us by talking about his reading journey, Nikki Cleveland ranted on the subject of school libraries, Nick Swarbrick talked about some of those books that he wouldn’t put in front of children, Bob Cox finished off another terrific day sharing his experience. The bookshop was busy, the food – as ever was amazing, the workshops were thought provoking – really, you should have been there.
So, what’s a Spree? It’s part conference, part festival, part celebration and it’s all fun. 2018 is shaping up to be even better than 2017 – some of the same people are coming back, some new ones are adding their voices, the programme will be packed, the lunch will be insanely delicious (and insanely good value) and the only thing missing is… you! SO, don’t delay, snap up a ticket while there’s some left and let’s get this show on the road.