21 February 2024

Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation and Chapter One story competition

Sodexo employees use paid volunteering time to craft a children's story on the theme of Bringing People Together Through Food

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We love the creative ways our corporate partners help us to tell the world about our mission to transform children’s futures with targeted reading support.

One of our platinum partners, the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation recently ran a story competition, sponsored by Sodexo’s Parents and Carers network, inviting Sodexo employees to use some of their paid volunteering time to craft an online children's story on the fantastic theme of Bringing People Together Through Food. Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation is Sodexo’s employee-led independent registered charity with a mission to tackle food insecurity and its root causes.

Following the initial judging panel, which included a chef from Sodexo, Stephanie Lockwood, the Programme Manager at Chapter One for Peterborough schools, facilitated the final panel at Sodexo’s London offices. The panel was made up by children of Sodexo employees. We asked Stephanie to tell us a bit more about the process and how the winning story was selected.

How did you facilitate the panel?
I began by explaining to the children about Chapter One and what we do. We then played a game based on categories about food - I gave them a time limit and a letter of the alphabet and they had to name as many food items beginning with that letter. It was a great way to break ice with them and get them chatting! Then we talked about the brief for the competition and I asked them to share their ideas of what a good book for a KS1 child might include. They had some great ideas around vocabulary choices, the style of book and the setting. We then moved on to look at the shortlisted stories.

Who were the judges?
There were 5 children involved in the judging process: 4 from Key Stage 2 (ages 7-11) and 1 from Key Stage 1. It was really useful having one child from KS1 (ages 5-7), the age of Chapter One pupils.

How were the stories judged?
There were three books for the panel to read and discuss. I read the first text to the children, so they could just listen and then they took it in turns to read a section each. Once they had read it through, we recapped the brief and they then had time in their two groups to think about what was great and what could be improved. They then shared that with the group. We had a small break and then did the same with the next text, and again with the third. We had lots of interesting discussions about tricky words, familiar settings and the flow of the text. Reading the stories out loud really highlighted the strengths and challenges of each text.

After much deliberation and discussion, the winning story was chosen by the children. Each child then wrote a sentence or two, or in one case a full paragraph, about which book they thought should win and their reasons why.

What happens next?
The winning book will now be professionally edited, illustrated and published on the Chapter One reading platform for our online reading volunteers to use in their sessions. It will also be added to Chapter One’s online Global Free Library, for thousands of children around the world to enjoy. I can’t wait to see it published!

What was the best part of the day?
I loved how the children engaged with the activities - it really highlighted the importance of community and working together. It was a highly collaborative process, and it was a real privilege to be involved.

Find out more!

Chapter One’s virtual, time-efficient, flexible model for volunteering will enhance your company’s employee value proposition, whilst fulfilling CSR or social value commitments around education, social mobility and inclusion. Employees can:

- volunteer online directly from their desks with no travel

- make a direct impact on the lives of disadvantaged children

- support local communities across the UK

- improve their own well-being by helping others

- reconnect with your company’s social purpose

Interested in joining us? We’d love to hear from you! You’ll find out who we currently work with on our partners’ page. You can contact us here or email sarah.taylor@chapterone.org.