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Call for donations to put nature book in Barking and Dagenham schools

PUBLISHED: 07:00 19 February 2019

Andrew Achilleos with copies of The Lost Words. Picture: A ACHILLEOS

Andrew Achilleos with copies of The Lost Words. Picture: A ACHILLEOS

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A bid to 'rewild' childhood has been launched after words such as otter, newt and willow were dropped from a children's dictionary.

Cllr Andrew Achilleos and the charity Trees for Cities want to raise £320 to get The Lost Words book and teaching resources in every classroom in the borough.

It includes common words including acorn, adder, bluebell, buttercup, dandelion, heron, kingfisher and wren left out of the latest edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary.

Andrew said: “This is an incredibly important project. I’m urging people to give what they can.

“I fundamentally believe that people rarely appreciate or care for things that they do not know, or have not experienced.

“If our young people do not experience the natural world at an early age they will not move to protect it in the future.”

The new edition of the dictionary includes words such as attachment, block-graph, blog, broadband, bullet-point, celebrity, chat room and voicemail.

Author Rob MacFarlane and illustrator, Jackie Morris, created The Lost Words out of a concern that children were becoming distant from the natural world.

Trees for Cities wanted to put the book in every London primary school but a bid to raise enough money fell short.

However, the charity received enough donations to bring the book to Barking and Dagenham.

“The Lost Words is a marvellous feat of linguistic and artistic talent, conjuring up vivid images from nature that will enrich any child’s understanding of the world around them,” Andrew said.

The Whalebone ward representative wants to raise enough money to print and deliver 32-page resources packs to make it easier for school staff to teach lessons centred around the book.

Andrew added: “The teaching resource is crucial as teachers are under immense pressure at the moment due to increasing workloads and diminishing funding.

“It will take the pressure off and help with lesson planning, enabling The Lost Words to enter the curriculum seamlessly.”

But the pressure is on the fundraisers who have set themselves the target of raising the money in time for the book’s launch in schools on March 7 – World Book Day.

To donate visit crowdfunder.co.uk/the-lost-words-for-barking-and-dagenham

Schools in Haringey, Lambeth and Wandsworth have already got copies thanks to similar fundraisers.

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