Thursday 7 March marked World Book Day 2019. This year in Barking and Dagenham the day marked the launch of a project by local Councillor Andrew Achilleos and Trees for Cities, a project which has now fully funded a book called ‘The Lost Words’ by Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris along with teaching resources for every primary and SEND school in the borough.
Beam County Primary School in Dagenham is the first school in London to get the book as part of the project, and throughout the year Trees for Cities will be delivering the book across the city.
Local Member of Parliament Jon Cruddas and Barking and Dagenham’s Cabinet Member for Educational Attainment and School Improvement Evelyn Carpenter both attended the event alongside David Elliot the CEO of Trees for Cities and Cllr Andrew Achilleos.
Jon Cruddas commented: “this launch is the start of something very special in our schools, I’ve had a chance to look at ‘The Lost Words’ since the project started and it has my full backing. Not only does the book highlight the natural world, it will also broaden young people’s vocabulary and creativity with its excellent use of language and art.”
The Trees for Cities team held small workshops based on the acrostic poems found in the book, all the Year 4 pupils took part in a quiz where they had to identify birds from pictures, and the winning child received a personal copy of the book.
Jon Cruddas MP, David Elliot and Cllr Achilleos all read out some of the children’s favourite poems from the book during the final presentation event.
In the coming weeks, Cllr Achilleos will be working with Trees for Cities to deliver the book and accompanying teaching resource to every primary and SEND school in the borough.
Cllr Achilleos said: “the event was a resounding success. I’ve got no doubt that the book and resources will complement the astounding work teachers at Beam and across the borough are already doing to teach our children about the environment. I’m a passionate about establishing the natural world back into the hearts and minds of the next generation in Barking and Dagenham. This project is the first step.”