Lost Words Kent Campaign for Books in Schools / Parish Council

Published: 28 November 2018

I am writing to the community in your parish to let you and them know about the Kent-wide crowdfunding project which we hope will benefit every primary and special school in the county.

You may have heard of the award-winning book, ‘The Lost Words,’ a beautiful piece of work written by Robert Macfarlane and illustrated by Jackie Morris. The aim of our campaign is to donate a copy to every primary and special school in Kent and Medway, together with associated resource materials. The book is a response to the decision in 2007 by the Junior Oxford Dictionary to remove a whole host of words that relate to the natural environment from their new edition. Words like wren and kingfisher, bluebell and dandelion, conker and acorn were excluded because algorithms showed that they were no longer used in children’s daily language. ‘The Lost Words’ has been acting as a catalyst across the country to reconnect children to nature, with similar grassroots campaigns sprouting up from Yorkshire to Somerset and donating copies to school, hospices and libraries.

We are a small task group of four (two teachers, a lawyer and a journalist). Through crowdfunding and direct donations we have raised over £4,000 of our £6,500 target in six weeks. The project is being supported by AONB Kent Downs and High Weald, the Kent Wildlife Trust, the RSPB, Councillor Mike Hill, Councillor Roger Gough, the Education People, local literature festivals and others. We have been featured on the BBC and in Kent Life and local newspapers and websites.

We would be most grateful if you would consider making a grant for the school or schools in your parish, as others have done. £10 buys a book which will then benefit hundreds of children. It would also be very much appreciated if you could mention the campaign in communications to your community and its special interest groups or on your website, to help raise awareness of the project and to help us to meet our goal.

We have a crowdfunding website: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/lostwordskent and there is more background here www.lostwordskent.wordpress.com. You can follow us on Twitter @WordsKent, on Instagram, @lostwordskent and Facebook @LostWordsKent. If your council would like to make a direct donation I can forward the campaign bank details.

If you would like more information about the campaign do please get in touch.

Many thanks and best wishes,

Julia Wheeler