A Story Box from behind bars What we've been up to this month: “A prisoner can create a beautiful flower from a desolate garden.” Feedback from an imprisoned dad In January we piloted this amazing Story-box Workshop in collaboration with South Devon College. It is part of their Adult Community Learning programme and leads to an NCFE Entry 3 Creative Crafts Award. We helped our 6 enthusiastic participants to plan their content and then design and construct their own Story-box based on their children’s’ favourite books. Original artwork or printed images formed the backdrops and then various devices were used to create characters and props for these extra special gifts. As well as showing the child that they are loved, these story boxes are a great resource to support children’s exploration of stories. They form areas in which to retell a favourite story, and make up new stories too - encouraging talk, imagination and literacy skills. “I think that today has really helped me. I have found it so helpful. I have learned so much – how to put my ideas and imagination and turn it into a present for my children. Because I struggle to put things together, today has shown me how to brainstorm and I am so glad I attended. I’m sure my story will be brilliant and that my children, niece and nephew will love it. Thank you for turning my imagination into a story.” Feedback from an imprisoned dad We find there is something very enriching about enabling participants to work as part of a group in a workshop environment: sharing ideas, resources and experiences. It breaks down barriers to learning and communication and enables the prisoners to express their love for their children in a way they simply can’t on the wings or landings. Inspired by this we have been focussing on developing workshops where the parents work on simple yet meaningful projects giving them the confidence use their creativity as a means of connecting with their children.