Open the Book

A movement that presents Bible stories to children in primary schools celebrated the registration of its 1000th Bible story-telling team and 5,000th volunteer this month. Open the Book was only established as a national venture as recently as 2007 and this significant milestone has been reached with extraordinary speed and minimal publicity.

“In just four years the quiet, unsung growth of Open the Book has been remarkable, and exceeded all expectations”, says Peter LeRoy, chairman of the national project team of trustees. “1,000 volunteer Bible storytellers only three years ago has mushroomed into 5,000”.

“All this is with just one paid member of staff, our National Co-ordinator, Dianne Brookes.  It demonstrates what ordinary Christian people can achieve when they are inspired, equipped to work together and want to share the wonder and wisdom of the Bible with children”.

The keys to Open the Book are its visual presentations, carefully-worded resources, simplicity to use and the involvement of the children.  “They really enjoy it.   It is engaging storytelling – not a sermon!”

Approximately 175,000 children in both Community and Church schools across Britain are currently enjoying an Open the Book Bible storytelling each week – and this figure is currently rising by about 3,000 each month.

Peter LeRoy adds: “Everything depends on churches realising that although most have very few children attending on Sundays, all the children in their locality can be reached at school. Open the Book does this through ‘broadly Christian’, school-friendly, Collective Worship assemblies – as required by law.  The benefits to churches and for community cohesion are very real.”

The 1000th team is preparing to take engaging, enacted Bible storytelling assemblies into Windmill Primary School in Telford, Shropshire.  All the teams use The Lion Storyteller Bible by Bob Hartman, imaginative visual material and the wording from the Open the Book handbooks and storybooks.

Open the Book provides a free programme of dramatised Bible stories and resources for assembly times in local primary schools. Teams of volunteers from local churches use drama, mime, props, costumes – and the children themselves – to present both the stories and the Bible’s great story in collective worship each week. It is simple, effective, engaging, inexpensive – and fun! Open the Book’s mission statement is: “Enabling every child to hear the story of the Bible at school in their primary years”

Story taken from the Biblefresh website.

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