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This time of year is always like a military operation at Tamarind. The editorial staff become booksellers on the road, couriering a mobile shop to education and cultural events, and meeting readers old and new. Boxes of books, hundreds of plastic bags, posters, rubber bands, table cloths and paraphernalia clutter up the office.
Every day for a week we’ve been either preparing for an event, or at an event. The first weekend of October loomed large and busy too: two days at the Times Educational Supplement show in Kensington Olympia, meeting educators, local government staff, nursery owners and trainee teachers. We discounted our overstock titles to £1 each especially for the show, a perfect offer in a time of budget cuts, and gave a poster to each buyer to bring positive images of black children to their homes and classrooms.
In 2 days, with 4 staff, in 5 square metres of space, we sold 1,054 books!
At this week’s second event, Tamarind set up shop in the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education, Southwark. We sold 101 books to educators, local parents and trainee teachers who come to the centre each year to find resources that make every child feel included. Comments from attendees show how hard it still is for them to find quality multicultural resources in mainstream bookshops.
This year London Mayor Boris Johnson cut funding for Black History Month from £132,000 to £10,000. Consequently, various multicultural events and festivals are feeling the pinch or closing down. Despite these cuts, Croydon Council’s annual Multicultural Resources Fair expanded this year, filling a meeting suite at the local Hilton hotel and attracting exhibitors such as Oxford University Press, Hodder and Tamarind. This year’s event was rebranded as an Inclusive Resources Fair, reflecting the broader range of products and services.
Although many teachers had tighter book budgets, Tamarind’s timely overstock sale went down a storm. Local teachers bought 389 books, giving Croydon schools fantastic resources for BHM and a truly integrated library all year round.
Tamarind will be on the road again this autumn, sharing the list with education practitioners. We’re visiting the Hilton hotel in Croydon on 27th September to meet local needs for inclusive resources. All the schools in the borough have been invited. It’s always a great exhibition to be at.
Here are some pics from last year’s show:
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Pore over a range of resources that you couldn’t find elsewhere. Equip your school with inclusive resources. Enjoy workshops and meet the people who create and distribute multicultural books. Tamarind will be among the exhibors at the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) book fair. Several titles will be selling at only £1 each.
Multicultural Resources Fair
Wednesday 29th September 2010
12pm – 6.30pm
CLPE, Webber St, London SE1 8QW
CLPE is holding its seventh multicultural book fair where specialist booksellers and publishers display and sell their books and resources. The book fair will be of interest to teachers, early years practitioners, parents, librarians and students. www.clpe.co.uk