StoryBoard, a free creative writing program for children in NSW Northern Rivers, will purchase a second bus, develop their high school program and extend their primary school program across the region, thanks to $187,000 in funding from the NSW Government.
Run by the Byron Writers Festival, the StoryBoard program is about creating the next generation of readers, writers and thinkers and giving students the opportunity to express themselves through literature.
StoryBoard brings authors and illustrators into schools and libraries to run workshops engaging young people in creative arts and culture.
NSW Parliamentary Secretary for the Arts Ben Franklin announced the funding and welcomed the expansion of the program.
“With the new funding, StoryBoard will deliver 32 one-off high school and primary school events, eight focus school events (two schools, four visits each), and more than 20 masterclass events,” Mr Franklin said.
“It will also purchase a second bus to take authors into even more schools in our region,” he said.
“Students will be able to access resources and publish their stories and teachers will be able to undertake professional development opportunities,” Mr Franklin said.
“Language is an incredibly powerful tool and so it is critically important that students be able to explore concepts, utilise their imagination and express themselves through language.
“We have all been captivated by a story, and it’s wonderful that more students in the Northern Rivers will have the opportunity to learn how to do this and share in the creative process,” he said.
Story Board Project Manager Gabby Le Brun said the Byron Writer’s Festival was thrilled to receive the grant.
“The funding will support StoryBoard in presenting fun-filled workshops by professional authors and illustrators for young writers in the Byron and Lismore Shires in 2020 and 2021,” Ms Le Brun said.
“This work seems particularly poignant at this moment in time, when children and young people are physically separated from their peers, and it is vital that they have the opportunity for connection, collaboration and a sense of belonging,” she said.
“Whilst current COVID-19 restrictions are in place regarding face-to-face gatherings, this funding will help StoryBoard to deliver programs to young people in the virtual space,” Ms Le Brun said.
Byron Writers Festival, through StoryBoard, will aim to reach 3000 students per year in 2020-2022.
The organisers of the creative writing program, which is delivered by a professional storyteller, will increase high school visits, deliver an additional focus school program, empower teachers with professional development and resources, and create a website where students can publish their work.