What we have achieved
Storywebs is a 24-month project co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union which focuses on child literacy and inclusion, underpinned by continuing concerns about low literacy levels across Europe, particularly among refugee, migrant and disadvantaged communities, and concern about the growth of intolerance and prejudice threatening social cohesion and inclusion as well as harming the life-chances of individual young people subject to discrimination.
There is increasing research consensus: low literacy skills are linked to wider underachievement and disengagement, with extensive impacts. It is also now widely recognised that participation in creative activity has a significant impact not only on educational attainment but also on intermediate outcomes such as self-concept and social capital, bringing significant civic impacts and increasing social cohesion.
In an increasingly heterogeneous Europe, and in the context of these concerns and the research consensus, the project aims to bring partners’ experience in non-formal arts learning activities to bear on literacy and inclusion, boosting achievement through the power of the imagination and
supporting whole school inclusion and equality.
Targeting Years 5 to 8 across 20 schools in partner countries, the project will pilot a menu of tailored creative activities, planned and managed in close consultation with schools and school staff working with our tutors. It will extend partners’ existing practice on creativity to address social outcomes as well.
A strategy publication will help schools develop policies and processes to create cultures of reading for pleasure and inclusion, school staff will be supported to continue the programme with further cohorts, and young participants themselves will create resources which will then be used in further activities and made widely available in an open access training and guidance pack.
The project is expected not only to improve young people’s literacy skills but also develop a broader understanding of inclusion and equality, coupled with creativity, self-confidence and motivation to learn and to become lifelong readers. The 20-week course, spread over two school terms, will involve enabling beneficiaries to gain skills in storytelling and creating stories (narrative, graphic or multimedia) as well as short performances. Their creations will be then designed as books or posters that can be used as learning resources by the schools. This project will not only improve young people’s literacy skills and motivation but will also give them a boost of pride and self-confidence.
Schools will have gained both an understanding of strategic approaches to improving literacy and fostering positive attitudes to inclusion and equality, and the expertise to sustain activities and positive outcomes following the conclusion of the project, and project resources will be available for wider use in school settings.
The 8 partners in the Storywebs project are as follows: Finsbury Park Trust and Every Child an Achiever Network from the UK, Scoala Primara EuroEd from Romania, Asociación Cívica de Comunicación y Educación Sophia (ACCESOphia) from Spain, YOU IN EUROPE from Greece, Zinev Art Technologies from Bulgaria, Menu agentura Artscape from Lithuania and Learning for Integration from Finland.
Weaving Webs of Stories (Storywebs) Project
December 2019 – December 2021