Spoke’N Word, a storytelling and cycling adventure

On the 31st January 2011, Tanya Batt will set off from Waiheke Island,to cycle to the glorious capital of Aotearoa/New Zealand, Wellington, on behalf of the Once Upon An Island Trust. www.OnceUponAnIsland.info

She will be collecting and telling stories in schools, libraries & festivals along the way for inclusion in a book all about cycling for primary aged children.

She will also be raising funds for the various Once Upon An Island Trust projects. If you'd like to support her you can at http://www.fundraiseonline.co.nz/onceuponanisland/

If you'd like to join her on her ride please email onceuponanisland@gmail.com

Get some fun between your legs - get a bike!

Spoke'N Word - A storytelling and cycling adventure

Tanya Batt
In case you don't know me, I'm Tanya Batt. In short I'm a story-o-phile and frock-o-holic who loves two wheeled adventures. You can check out my work on www.imagined-worlds.net

On the 31st of January 2011 I'll be straddling my trusty two wheeled steed and cycling from Waiheke Island to the glorious capital of Aotearoa, Wellington.Why? You might ask!

I've always loved riding my bike (despite what my Mum says) and I'm keen to share that love of cycling with others.

I'll be cycling on behalf of the Once Upon An Island Trust. Over the course of the month and many 100s of kilometres, I'll be visiting primary schools, libraries, festivals etc sharing and collecting stories all about bikes using my fabulous kamishibai story theatre (check out the blog on this site).

The purpose of the ride is to encourage a love of bike riding and adventure in children and at the same time, raise funds for the various Once Upon An Island Trust Projects.

The Once Upon An Island Trust is committed to the development & exploration of human potential primarily through the mediums of storytelling and story making. In short we love it when people shine! We run a bi annual Festival of Story on Waiheke Island, have created a ‘Story Centre' and in the last few years offered oodles of fun but informative workshops and events for children and their families. This is out first national project and we are hoping to raise enough money to begin work on two international story projects in Ghana and East Timor.

So grab a bike and join us if you can. You can find the tour schedule at www.OnceUponAnIsland.info
If the spirit is willing and the thighs lacking, we hope you'd like to make a donation. You can donate using your credit card through this site or email us at onceuponanisland@gmail.com for banking details.

Thanks for taking the time to read this - wishing you much love, laughter and happy ever afters.

News release January 2011

Spoke ‘N Word - a storytelling and cycling adventure from Waiheke to Wellington

Imagine a world of stories about cycling, travelling on two wheels!

Performance storyteller and children's author Tanya Batt has married her loves of cycling and storytelling to create a pedal-powered adventure from her Waiheke Island home (31 January) to Wellington (24 February).

While working in Japan, Tanya researched kamishibai, a form of storytelling once popular there. A kamishibai storyteller has a miniature collapsible stage fixed to their bicycle. Traditionally they sold sweets and snacks to their audience. The stories they told were illustrated by a series of pictures that were revealed using the miniature theatre.

Tanya has replicated a kamishibai theatre. She will use it to share cycling stories and encourage children to tell their own, which she'll compile into a book about cycling history, recreation and safety. Her project aims to encourage cycling among children. It will also raise awareness of and funds for Waiheke's Once upon an island Charitable Trust, which develops human potential through storytelling and story making.

The project coincides with Bike Wise Month, February 2011. With help from cycling author, Jonathan Kennett, and others, Tanya has plotted a route down the west coast of the North Island and through the Wairarapa. She'll treat children to storytelling workshops using her kamishibai theatre at schools along the way.

The idea crystallized as Tanya pedaled around Europe and the UK last year.

"I come from a family of recreational cyclists. From a young age, we all had bikes for getting to school and for play. I'd love to see more children experience the joy and freedom of cycling."

Tanya hopes that the people in the communities she passes through will feel inspired to jump on their bikes and join her.

To join Tanya or support the project, visit http://www.fundraiseonline.co.nz/onceuponanisland/
or email

Picture caption: Tanya Batt: a word-warbler, story-o-phile and self confessed frock-a-holic.

Editor's Notes:

1.Tanya Batt is a storyteller, teacher and published writer.

2.She regularly works in New Zealand and Australia and has been invited to share her work in the USA, Africa, the UK, Europe and Asia.

3.She is regarded as one of NZ's top storytellers and is the director of the ‘Once Upon an Island' Waiheke Storytelling Festival and the unique Once Upon an Island Story Centre.

4.Tanya is a trained teacher with qualifications in education and performing arts and highly sought after for her professional development workshops. Her teaching manuals in the areas of dance, drama and storytelling are regularly used in teacher training institutes.

5.As a writer, she specialises in the creation of picture books, folk tale collections and audio recordings for the young and young at heart. Two of her books have been listed as Top Ten Children's Picture Books by the NZ Children's Literature Foundation.

6.For more information visit www.imagined-worlds.net


Tanya Batt tel 021 432 379, faerybatt@gmail.com

Jenness Reeve, project manager for Spoke'n Word, tel 09 372 4459, 021 250 2480 and amreeve@xtra.co.nz





This coming February storyteller and children's author, Tanya Batt, will be cycling from Waiheke to Wellington with her kamishibai storytelling theatre. She'll be visiting primary schools along the way to share and collect stories about cycling. Many of these stories will be included in a book to be released during Bike Wise Month the following year and intended for schools and general release.

The purpose of the ride in to encourage children to cycle and at the same time, raise funds for the Once Upon An Island Trust. At the heart of the Trust's work is story. Our projects have a local, national and international focus. One of our recent projects involves raising funds for a school for children of Trokosi women in Ghana (see the weblink provided). We believe that people become the stories they tell themselves. When we change those stories, we can change the world.

Tanya is committed to cycling a minimum of 500km of the 700km ride. A support vehicle will be used to cover areas where the main roads prove too dangerous to cycle.

The journey starts on Waiheke Island on 31 January and ends in Wellington at the end of the month. Tanya will stop at schools along the way in Auckland, Raglan, Kawhia, New Plymouth, Taranaki, Wanganui, Masterton, Carterton and Wellington.

This event will start in the Artworks Courtyard, Waiheke Island where there will be a workshop 10am - 12noon, mustering at 12.15 and a mass cycle ride down to the ferry at 12.30. Waiheke local board members will also be cycling.

Tuesday 1 February - Tanya will be accompanied by MP Nikki Kaye for a cycle to MOTAT. She will be performing at the History of Cycling exhibition 12noon - 12.30. Contact MOTAT for entry details.
Wednesday 2 February - Auckland mayor, Len Brown, will cycle in tandem with Cycle Auckland owner Megan Blank to accompany Tanya to Britomart.
Friday 4 February - Raglan School
Monday 7 February - Kawhia School
Wednesday 9 February - Welbourne School, New Plymouth
Thursday 10 February - Fitzroy School, New Plymouth
Friday 11 February - West End Primary School, New Plymouth
Saturday 12 February - Library - Puke Ariki, New Plymouth as part of the Wild West Bike Fest
Monday 14 February - Aranui Primary School, Wanganui
Monday 21 February - Carterton School, Carterton
Wednesday 23 February - Plateau School, Upper Hutt
Thursday 24 February - Randwick School, Lower Hutt
Friday 25 February - 11am, Queen's Wharf. Wellington grand finale finishing at the marae, Te Papa - Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown will cycle in with Tanya and be accompanied by Wellington schoolchildren.

Libraries visited along the way will be at Feilding, Ashhurst, Masterton.