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Closed 23/12/2023
The Story Museum

Start With a Story this Christmas

Early encounters with stories are powerful. Start with a Story brings multi-sensory, playful story experiences to young children and their families to support language acquisition and social development, and lay the foundations for later literacy.
raised of £10,000 target
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Closed on 23/12/2023
RCN 1107809


Can you imagine Christmas without stories? For so many of us, Christmas is all about the stories. It’s reading through 'A Christmas Carol' as dark December nights draw in or gathering around with family for the annual viewing of 'The Snowman'.

But for lots of families, including the 26% of children in Oxford who live in poverty, opportunities to enjoy stories together are few and far between irrespective of the time of year. At The Story Museum, we know just how transformative sharing stories with beloved adults is for young children so this Christmas we’re asking you to support our Start With A Story campaign. Help local families who are less fortunate to enjoy the magic of story-based learning all year round.

“There's been a real loss of those services that were free or low cost for families and communities around Oxfordshire. That means there’s been a really big gap in early childhood experiences” Katharine Barber, CEO, Home Start Oxfordshire.

Start with a Story is our programme for very young children and their families, who are less likely to be able to access cultural activity in areas of disadvantage in Oxfordshire. We bring our magical story-based learning into these communities for children who need our help the most, building confidence, vocabulary, and most crucially, young imaginations! Our learning team love getting to know these children and their families and introducing them to our Museum with storytelling sessions here as well. Through this programme, we aim to empower children to be the narrator of their own story and equip them with the tools they need to prepare them for future success.

“[my daughter] told her Dad and grandparents the story of the ‘Foolish Wish’ when she got home…..her engagement and confidence has really increased”. - Parent of two year old participating in our Start with a Story project in Littlemore

“I was worried about her going to nursey next term, but now I feel more confident that she will manage.” - Parent of two year old participating in our Start with a Story project in Littlemore

We are delighted that thanks to the generosity of local business Great Communication, the first £5,000 donated has been doubled. This Christmas, join us on our mission to ensure every child in Oxford has the opportunity to benefit from the lifelong impacts of growing up rich in stories.

“My 2-year-old was so keen to get the story started on Week 3 that she ran outside to get her mum shouting excitedly “Mummy Story!” and clapped her hands.” - Participant, June 2023

Why Stories?

The Story Museum is a most unusual museum in the heart of Oxford celebrating the power of stories to teach and delight. Our gallery and activity spaces encourage visitors of all ages to lose themselves in their imagination. Highlights include a Whispering Wood, an Enchanted Library and Small Worlds, a dedicated space for younger children. With the Woodshed, a 100-seat theatre, the Magic Common Room, a learning studio inspired by Hogwarts, and the Treasure Chamber, a temporary exhibition space, the Museum also offers a full programme of events including family storytelling shows, clubs, courses, workshops and schools sessions. Please visit our website for more information and details of museum/shop/café opening hours.

About the charity

The Story Museum

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RCN 1107809
The Story Museum celebrates Stories. From our unusual museum in Oxford, we’re on a mission to enrich lives, especially young lives, through our ever-growing collection of stories in all forms: immersive exhibitions, theatre shows, skill clubs, courses, live events and co-creation projects.

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