Karen came in to visit us on World Book Day and gave the presentation "Beautiful Books Build Brilliant Brains” to years 4 and 5. The children and staff enjoyed her visit immensely, the presentation was imaginative, interactive and enormously engaging. We are already planning our next event and hoping that Karen will come back to visit us again soon.
Helen Fage, Librarian, Moor Green Primary Academy
Conway Primary School, Sparkbrook in Birmingham
"Thank you for an absolutely amazing day. The children were mesmerised and I was so impressed with their answers. You engaged with children who are usually reluctant speakers and passed on skills to parents too. Some of our reluctant readers have gone home excited about books and I’m excited about the results this visit will give us. Thank you so much."
Katie Biddle- Rawbone
Year Three Class Teacher
"Thank you for delivering your wisdom to our children and parents."
"As a school, we were lucky enough to have Karen come to visit several of our classes and share her own personal love of reading with the children.
I cannot recommend Karen enough. She was friendly and knowledgable - she brought many of her own books to share and her passion for books was clearly felt by the children.
The visit was easy to arrange and Karen was most helpful and kind. She tailored the texts she brought to share with the topics each class was covering, which was very valuable.
The children are still talking excitedly about our recent visitor and are asking if she can come again! I look forward to a continued relationship with Karen and the Letterpress Project. It truely is wonderful for someone who is so passionate about books to share that with our children.
Thank you, Karen!"
Literacy Co-Ordinator, Florendine School in Tamworth
"I engaged Karen to run a workshop for families caring for children with additional needs and disabilities. She was absolutely excellent - entertaining, enlightening and really enthused us all with her love of children's books. The parents particularly enjoyed the oral story telling of ‘The Dish and the Spoon’ and how she brought alive different parts of this and other books that they had not fully appreciated before.
I would recommend her work to anyone - many many thanks. "
Director Entrust Care Partnership
"I have experienced Karen's teaching methods over the last couple of years and have found her to be an exceptional teacher. Karen always has time to spend with her students, enabling them the opportunity to grow and learn as individuals. Karen shares her enthusiasm for literature very openly and always has the patience to listen to any comments or criticisms students may have towards any particular piece being discussed. There is a strong ethos surrounding children's literature in particular and Karen has opened my mind to many varying authors and styles of writing, which has been thoroughly enjoyable."
Elizabeth Pardoe-Webb : Newman University student
I brought my five year old son to participate and listen to two stories at storytelling sessions with Karen at Newman University Community Day in September.
My son and I thoroughly enjoyed The Gruffelo and The Tiger Who Came To Tea story books that Karen read to us. The Tiger Who Came To Tea is one of my son's favourite stories.
The stories held my son captivated, and he thoroughly enjoyed Karen's storytelling talents, Thank you Karen :)
Jane and Aaron (Cox)
Karen visited our toddler group this week with her friend, Eddy Teddy. She was absolutely fantastic, engaging children from the very beginning. They really enjoyed their adventures 'Going on a Bear Hunt' as well as listening to ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’ and ‘The Tiger who Came to Tea’ – a great mixture of story and singing. A big hit with all the children, my little one is still talking about you now. He told his brother and daddy all about you when he got home and was still talking about you when I dropped him at Nursery today because you read one of his favourite stories ‘We're going on a Bear Hunt’! Thank you, we hope to see you again soon
Harbury Toddler Group - Volunteer and Mum.
I recommend this ('Powerful Picture Books') to absolutely everybody thinking of working with children - a really interesting, enjoyable lecture. Thank you so much!
Just emailing to say thank you for your session with the children today at Brighter Futures. You had the children enthralled with your lovely stories, rhymes and singing. You were able to keep the focus of a number of lively wriggly two year olds for the entire session! We would love to have you return to see us again
Thanks and best wishes
Just wanted to send you a thank you for your delightful visit to day hospice for our Alice in Wonderland themed week. What an amazing collection of 'Alice' books you have. Patients, volunteers and staff all enjoyed your input and browsing through the books. It was a fantastic addition to our themed day and I only wish you could have joined us for the rest of the week so that patients on other days could have benefitted from your enthusiasm and the vast collection of books you brought to share. Some of our groups find it increasingly difficult to access cultural events and even sometimes visits to the shops so your visit and book collection were greatly appreciated. It is so relaxing to have someone read aloud to you. We look forward to visit from you again soon.
Mary and the day hospice team
Karen came to see our Level 3 Childcare and Education students, at Exeter College on 15th June, to talk about the importance of books for young children. The students were keen to find out more and took part in a quiz to test their knowledge of children's books and got the opportunity to carefully consider a range of books and how they can be shared with children in different placement settings.
Comments from the students included:
"I was never aware of how important books are. I liked seeing all the different styles of illustrations by different people." Ellie, Level 3 Childcare and Education student.
"It was quite surprising to see how big of an impact books can have on a child's life and to discover that picture and pop up books are NOT just for young children! It was also quite nice to see how nowadays there are a much wider variety of books which portray disability and other issues; showing them in a different light." Jade, Level 3 Childcare and Education student.
The presentation by Karen was a valuable experience for our learners and we thank her for her time and efforts.
Karen shared a range of favourite children’s literature at our local fete, including books by Michael Rosen, Julia Donaldson and Judith Kerr. She was excellent, engaging an audience of children from 6 months to toddlers and parents- a lovely escape into picture books in busy surroundings. When I return to work at school, I’ll spread the Letterpress word and hopefully be in touch about using her skills.
Karen and I visit schools and colleges to give presentations. We aim to develop students’ awareness about the current global refugee crisis. Karen has a vast knowledge of books for children and teenagers and she draws on them to provide a rich and powerful dimension which always has the students spellbound. Through hearing and reading stories about individuals, students develop empathy about the plight of people who are forced to feel their homes due to unimaginable horrors. She is a constant source of inspiration.
Ruth Forecast - Amnesty International Speaker
1st Colwall Beaver Scouts sent us the following feedback:
“A truly touching session. Very thoughtful and well presented to our young Beavers, ages 6-8, for a difficult and sometimes upsetting subject. Ruth and Karen were calm, friendly and spoke clearly, using language appropriate to the age group. The session flowed very well from one aspect to another. We had pictures, discussion, storytelling and some group work. Thank you for the brilliant work you all do, at Amnesty International.”
Hanley Castle High School sent this feedback:
“An informative assembly. Video particularly powerful. Brilliant – thank you.”
Greenfield Primary School, Stourbridge
The pupils of Greenfield Primary School compiled a wall of post-it notes to say how much they enjoyed their time with Karen and the Letterpress Project.
You can read what they had to say by clicking on this link Pupil_Quotes.pdf (by the way, you'll need to rotate the pdf!)
Somers Park Primary School, Malvern
Karen came to Somers Park in a wave of books. She completely inspired our Year 3 children (and soon their parents and carers too!) with her enthusiasm and knowledge of books giving them reason to read and showing them the world it opens up to them. She not only drew their attention to the words and pictures within the books but the book itself including its smell and feel and colours. The children adored her pop up books and will be writing letters to the Head teacher requesting at least one pop- up book in every classroom right up to Year 6! Thank you so much Letter Press Project and Karen. We're off to get lost in a book . . . :-)
‘Having worked with both Year 3 classes sharing books, Karen came back into Somers Park to advise parents and shared more books during a shared reading session with parents and children on World Book Day. The following week she spoke to Year 3 and 4 parents about reading, books and effective shared reading for them at home with their children. A useful and informative session. Thanks again Karen’.
Debbie Russell, Year 3 teacher
Thank you very much for coming to volunteer at the centre last week reading to the children. They had a wonderful time and really enjoyed you talking about The Very Hungry Caterpillar. We are very privileged to have you as part of our team.
Founder of WMYDMYB
Many thanks for Saturday's keynote lecture ‘Beautiful Books Build Brilliant Brains’ at the FdA EY/FDCF/IWCF Partnership Conference at Worcester University. We had some super written feedback from students and thought you would be interested in this - please see below.
"Enjoyed this talk about how important reading actual books is"
"How important books are for children"
"Loved it! Really opened my thoughts to book opportunities"
"Great to learn that books are given in food banks - would be good for settings to get involved with giving books out"
"Understanding that books develop resilience and picture books support development"
Course Leader: Foundation Degree in Early Years (FL)
“We invited Karen into our school so that she could share her love of books with our children. She certainly managed that and the children talked about the experience with enthusiasm. The children particularly enjoyed looking at the illustrations and were enthralled by the fantasy lands involving mermaids and pirates. Karen read the books with great enthusiasm and allowed the children time to share their opinions of the stories afterwards. A very worthwhile experience for all involved’.
Miss Wellings, Reception Class Teacher at Lark Hall Infant and Nursery Academy, Tamworth
Karen gave a fascinating insight into the role of picture books in supporting young children's development in literacy. Her insights were really useful in deepening students' understanding of how we can nurture children's motivation and ensure that opportunities for purposeful learning are captured. Karen brought a wealth of experience to share as well as many beautiful and varied picture books. Her input has undoubtedly contributed to ensuring that the next generation of young readers will benefit from informed and inspired practitioners.
Many thanks once again for your input. It is greatly appreciated by the students and by me!
Centre for Children and Families
University of Worcester