Sydney Writers’ Festival is passionate about championing literature. We run a range of different initiatives that connect our communities to writers, thinkers, illustrators and stories that enrich, embolden and inspire. 

We are so grateful for the support of generous donors that allow us to offer these programs. 

One of these programs is Russ the Story Bus. Russ was created to support children at the very beginning of their reading journey, giving them an opportunity to spark a lifelong love of books.

Russ is no ordinary bus. It is a magical and colourful library on wheels full of the latest children’s books and covered in vibrant illustrations from children’s book illustrators. You can see Russ in action in this video: 

Each year, this flagship outreach program brings the joy of books to almost 9,000 students throughout Greater Sydney and regional NSW over eight weeks. We prioritise visiting schools with high enrolments of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, students with refugee backgrounds and students who have recently arrived in Australia.

We know from teachers who have participated before that imaginative reading programs like Russ the Story Bus help them encourage their students to read, tell and write stories.

A Russ the Story Bus school visit includes an interactive talk led by an inspiring children’s book author or illustrator. Students then hop on board the bus to choose a book of their very own to keep. Each school is also given a pack of books for their library. 

And it’s all free for every school we visit, thanks to the support of people like you.

2021 is a year of pandemic recovery for the Festival. It is also a time when reconnecting with communities through programs that inspire and rejuvenate is more important than ever. Russ the Story Bus is just one of many community initiatives Sydney Writers’ Festival delivers each year. With your generosity and support, we hope to continue to deliver these valuable programs. 

We are hoping to raise $80,000 before 30 June 2021. If everyone reading this made a $10 contribution, we could make this target. Here’s some examples of the difference your donation could make. 

Donate $15 and you could help cover the cost of one book for one student

Donate $40 and you could help cover the cost of one student participating in Russ the Story Bus

Donate $80 and you could help cover the cost of one pack of books for a school library

Donations of any size are tremendously valued. And as a not-for-profit organisation and a registered charity, a donation of $2 or more is fully tax-deductible, while gifts of $1,000 or more qualify for membership to our Patron Program, which gives exclusive access and benefits to our most generous supporters.

Donate now

If you have any questions about Russ the Story Bus or supporting the Festival, we would love to hear from you. Please email philanthropy@swf.org.au and a member of our team will be in touch.