Last week, we had a terrific visit from Goda Kacileviciute who is a young Lithuanian Emigre working in Sales and Social Media at the Mojatu Foundation in Nottingham.
Firstly, it was terrific to have a younger person involved in Brilliant Books, something the kids absolutely related to, and secondly, Goda has an interesting story to tell.
Three years ago, Goda couldn't speak a word of English.
Now, she speaks the language fluently.
That's incredible and it was a message we were keen to get across to the kids, who, (and lets be frank, this is understandable) run the risk of taking this wonderful world language for granted.
Goda talked to the team about her love of Hans Christian Anderson and I know her parents would have been immensely proud of her when she actually read an extract from "The Fir Tree" and she was so good, you could have heard a pin drop.
I don't want to give you the impression this was a breeze for her. At the meeting beforehand (which, I am told, is now known in office circles as a "huddle"), I thought she was going to be sick with nerves.
This was the first time she had ever read in public, or addressed a group of twenty people. And speaking to 9-10 year olds isn't easy. Especially when, as Goda approached the screen, the questions came at her at speed, from all directions.
About Lithuania, about castles, about travel, about her, about everything. Archie pointed out that Lithuania was one of just three Baltic states and clearly Goda didn't expect this.
Archie had read this factoid beforehand. I know Shellie and Phil were proud of him and Goda thought it was wonderful. Goda dealt with her nerves and her presentation with aplomb and we were all proud of her - as will her parents back in Lithuania will be when they see this.
|The book of Fairy Tales.|
Here are some of the highlights of the day.
|Nathan and me traded comics - here is one his favourite|
heroes - the Ghost Rider. I got a Wolverine in return.
Rawan and Amina ask me
about that number. I think I got it
Phil and Goda relax with
parents and the kids after the
|The boys pass around "A Children's Guide to Politics"|
|Alex, Connor and Nathan with "Diary of a Wimpy Kid", a smash|
hit in the Brilliant Books charts. The project purchased books those
for the kids to take home - it was published Wednesday.
In other news, the Brilliant Books anthology of the work generated by the pupils, "The Scribes of Seely" was published this weekend. It will be available, at cost price, on the First of December if anyone is interested in supporting the project.
The pupils still cannot believe they are being published and every author out there reading this will know that feeling, the one where someone, somewhere, is reading your book. We'll be explaining this to them on Wednesday a bit further. I don't think they will fully understand until they see the book in their hands on 3rd December, presented to them, in front of the entire school.
The Brilliant Books project is kindly supported by the Big Lottery Fund.