Encouraging family bonds through storytelling
Stratford-upon-Avon Literary Festival has been awarded funding from Arts Council England to develop its transformative Bedtime Stories project in prisons.
The project, which builds literacy skills and encourages important family bonds through storytelling, will be rolled out in another five schools and 12 prisons across England, reaching a further 1,000 families.
The Festival organises author-led workshops and, over the course of a day, participants are helped to create their own bedtime story for their children. These stories can subsequently be given to their children on visits, read over the phone or recorded – delivered in partnership with the Storybook Mums and Dads initiative.
The bond between children and their parents in prison is recognised as hugely influential in the wellbeing of the children and in the rehabilitation of prisoners.
Compared to their peers, children of prisoners have around three times the risk of antisocial and delinquent behaviour, mental health problems and other adverse outcomes, and prisoners who maintain contact with their families are up to six times less likely to re-offend.
Peter Knott, Area Director for Arts Council England, said:
For children who have a parent in prison, sharing a bedtime story is a vital way to strengthen family bonds, so we’re pleased to support Stratford Literary Festival’s Bedtime Stories through the National Lottery, as they create safe spaces and innovative ways for families to connect and spend quality time together, discovering and rekindling the joys of storytelling.”
Image: Stratford Literary Festival Bedtime Stories (c) Rupert Barnes Photography