Discover Children’s Story Centre

The power of storytelling

Storytelling is powerful. It sparks imaginations, inspires learners and increases empathy. There are even links between storytelling and improved literacy outcomes – it brings literacy to life.

Discovery Children’s Story Centre in Newham, east London, is dedicated to harnessing this power and building a love of stories in children. It’s the UK’s first story centre for children aged 0 to 11 and their families, and we’re supporting the inspirational work they do. Our £25,380 grant is funding two strands of work: an organisation-wide evaluation and a teachers’ forum and continued professional development (CPD) project.

  • Discover works with over 150,000 children, families and teachers each year.
  • An estimated 1,000 children will benefit from Discovery Children’s Story Centre’s training being taken back to the classroom. 
  • Our grant of £25,380 is funding two strands of work: an organisation-wide evaluation and a teachers’ forum and CPD project.

Sharing a love of literature

The evaluation will be based on data collected from around 10,000 visitors and in-depth feedback from 100 teachers, parents and facilitators. It will be used to create a ‘theory of ‘change’ with results being published to coincide with their 20th anniversary celebrations in Autumn 2023.

The full richness of stories and storytelling isn’t always used in the classroom. So the rest of the funding is supporting a year-long teacher training programme. Poets, authors and visual illustrators are leading hands-on sessions, inspiring teachers to use storytelling as a creative learning tool.

The centre has an important role to play in the community. One Arts Council Artistic Assessor called it not only: “a rich mix that offers a number of exciting ways into the world of children’s literature” but also “a stimulating space for parents to bond with their children in a relaxed and fun way.

“Discover believes the activities we deliver can play an increasingly important role in addressing the disruption to children’s education and social inclusion, particularly after the Covid-19 pandemic. We often hear from children, parents and teachers that our work provides a unique route to engaging with stories and communication skills.”

Karla Barnacle-Best, Chief Executive, Discover Children’s Story Centre

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