After school Reading Rooms The Verbal Arts Centre is the setting for our after school reading rooms with children and young people. We work with groups aged 8-12 and 13-18. We also have some one-to-one sessions. Partnership with Extern Working closely with Extern, we can adapt Reading Rooms to deepen and strengthen the bonds in the groups. If Extern is working with the young people on issues such as self-esteem or mental health, then Reading Rooms can dovetail with that effort. Carefully selected literature gives a forum for broader discussion. Our facilitators ensure that a safe space is created for the groups to express themselves fully and without fear. Visiting writers Occasionally, a writer will join the after school Reading Rooms. Lemn Sissay (pictured above) has been a regular visitor. His experiences as an adopted child and a child in care resonates with some of our Extern groups. The groups and the writer workshop together to create a unique and lasting piece of work.