We want to give a copy of 'The Lost Words' by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris to every primary, infant and special school in Oxfordshire.
We believe that this book has a powerful effect on those who have access to it. It has had an enormous impact since it was released.
Words related to the natural world such as dandelion, acorn and kingfisher were disappearing from the vocabulary of children. Through beautiful watercolour paintings and acrostic poems (spells) the natural world is conjured up and comes alive.
The Kingfisher spell being read at the Evenlode.
The artwork and spells have been a source of inspiration and joy for children and adults. It builds confidence and encourages engagement in those with particular social, emotional and wellbeing needs.
We wish for every primary school child in Oxfordshire to have access to it. Successful crowdfunding in other parts of the country means that children from as far as (the whole!) of Scotland, Gloucestershire, to Haringey and Dorset now have this wonderful book available to them.
Everyone who makes a donation will be entered into a prize draw for another original unique inked pair of Otters by Jackie Morris
As well as giving the book to every school, we want to use some of the funding to produce a package of resources which will be made available to help teachers bring the book to life with their pupils and provide them with more opportunities to feel a close connection to the natural world. We plan to use and adapt the excellent resources that are already freely available from the John Muir Trust.
This beautiful original inked pair of Otters by Jackie Morris is available as a reward (Claimed on Day 1)
If we exceed our target, we will distribute more books to secondary schools, hospitals, and other child-oriented organisations that will benefit from them.
We will be linking up with as many organisations as we can locally to have activities available in the Oxfordshire area for children to enter the natural world to conjure up the wonders they have seen in the book.
(Penguin/Random House publishers have agreed to give the book to us at cost price for this campaign.)
We are a small group of individuals from Oxfordshire.
Andy Egan lives in Eynsham and works for an environmental foundation. He has two children at primary school in West Oxford and was inspired both by hearing his children reading the spells from 'The Lost Words' and by the successful crowdfunding campaigns in other parts of the UK.
Rowena Rouse lives in North Oxfordshire and is a nature lover. She has spent most of her professional life as an academic librarian, and more recently supporting researchers in making their research available to everyone and digitizing projects. She has two grown-up children who were very lucky to go to state schools in a rural setting - Bloxham Primary, Warriner School with it's farm and then Chipping Norton Sixth Form.
Angela Wilson is a GP in West Oxfordshire, living in Long Hanborough. Her 8 year old daughter received the book as a present from her uncle Iain for Christmas 2017. It has stimulated a deeper connection with the natural world in the family as well as the creation of art and writing at home.