Campus in the City is an annual event run by Lancaster University, wherein projects take over an empty shop space in the middle of the city and run engagement sessions with the public. It is a fantastic means of introducing our work to an audience who might otherwise never hear of it, and the team was delighted to be able to run Litcraft: Treasure Island at this years event. The door saw a tally of nearly 500 people throughout the day, around 120 of which were children – despite the inclement weather.
We saw a huge amount of interest from primary school-aged children (not many teenagers came to the event) – but importantly, we had the opportunity to meet with parents, and solicit their thoughts on our work. Thankfully, Litcraft was universally praised, with many wanting to know more about how the availability of the resource to local schools. We did not have the means or opportunity to offer full lesson plans with the game, but demonstrated it more as a proof of concept allowing participants free exploratory reign over the island – which was more than enough to pique interest (especially when they learned about the story was about pirates).
The feedback gathered on the day also underscored the pattern we have been seeing in that pupils have very little knowledge of Treasure Island. This was unexpectedly low, but that a number of children asked their parents if they could get a copy of the book after being introduced to the fantastic island – which lies the very core of Litcraft’s intent. The event has highlighted the need the involve parents in our work going forward as well as pupils and teachers (especially when the resources feature non-syllabus texts for reading at home), but the extremely positive reception was heartening.