Empathy Heroes Day kicking off Patron of Reading in Oldham

Bernard Young at Oldham Hulme Grammar School Juniors

We had a great day kicking of the Patron of Reading relationship between myself and Oldham Hulme Grammar School Juniors on 12 September. The students were in fancy dress as their favourite heroes and the overall theme of the day was about putting yourself into other people’s shoes and being Empathy Heroes.

I worked with years 3, 4, 5 and 6 during the day. I read out some poems from my books and performed some accompanied by guitar. Then during the workshops pupils wrote poems inspired by shoes that they had brought in.

Before the end of the session many of the poems were performed by their authors. The school is planning to have more of these performances on National Poetry Day (28 September).

After lunch members of the school council (pictured below) interviewed me for the school magazine and asked questions about my career as a poet.

I’m looking forward to our continued Patron of Reading relationship.

A Patron of Reading is a school’s special children’s author, poet, storyteller or illustrator. The school and their patron develop a relationship over a period of time. Everything the patron does is related to helping encourage and develop a reading for pleasure culture in the school.” Read more about the scheme on the Patron of Reading website.

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What does it feel like to be in someone else’s shoes? Empathy Heroes Day

A man's foot with a old lady's feet in the background copyright Bernard Young

I’m looking forward to the first Patron of Reading visit to Oldham Hulme Grammar School Juniors on Tuesday. I will be leading poetry workshops using people’s shoes as inspiration for Empathy Heroes Day. I thought I’d repost a poem of mine along these lines as an example. This poem was inspired by the photo above.

The Visitor

When he arrives
she wonders who’s come?
He kisses her cheek
and calls her Mum.

After he’s been
she forgets that he came.
She can’t picture his face
or recall his name.

This poem and photograph was first published on blipfoto.com on 30th May 2013.

Delighted that I’m now Patron of Reading for Oldham Hulme Grammar School

Bernard Young Patron of Reading for Oldham Hulme Grammar School

I’m delighted to announce that it has been confirmed today that I am Patron of Reading for Oldham Hulme Grammar School. We have some exciting things planned for my first visit on 12th September.

This is the second school that I am working with as Patron of Reading. The other is Summerville Primary School, Salford, where I have had one visit so far in May.

A Patron of Reading is a school’s special children’s author, poet, storyteller or illustrator. The school and their patron develop a relationship over a period of time. Everything the patron does is related to helping encourage and develop a reading for pleasure culture in the school.” Read more about the scheme on the Patron of Reading website.