School for Nomads
Organisation: Richard O’Neill
It is important for young Gypsy and Traveller people to have access to books that positively reflect their lives and experiences. At the same time, it is important that educators understand the barriers Gypsy and Traveller children often face in both accessing mainstream education and in staying in the education system. Whilst literacy levels are lower than the national average so too is the understanding of Gypsy and Traveller cultures and traditional learning models. Through this project, celebrated children’s author Richard O’Neill sets out to address this issue by developing a brand new book, created with Gypsy and Traveller students, for Gypsy and Traveller students and their teachers which explores what a ‘School for Nomads’ would look like.
Richard has written this book, School for Nomads, based on the lives of Gypsy and Traveller young people living on the roadside. He gained feedback and insight from young people living on the roadside about the book, so that the book could be engaging, relevant and truly representative of their lived experiences.
The book has now been printed through Richard O’Neill’s own publishing company, Trails of Tales, with illustrator Michelle Russell.
You can order your own copy of School for Nomads for free here.
It can also be used as an advocacy tool within schools, settled communities and at the roadside to encourage understanding, literacy and further educational inclusion.Richard O’Neill hopes increasing the representation of Gypsy and Traveller children in literature will offer a learning opportunity for teachers and educational support staff too.
IMPACT OF THE PROJECT
If school could really be like this, I’d be there now.