‘Everyone A Reader’, recently launched by Children’s Books Ireland in Clondalkin, Dublin 22, will engage three local schools – Coláiste Bríde, Deansrath Community College and St Kevin’s Community College – to build a love of reading among their students, staff and wider community.
Thanks to a three-year committment from Davenham Switchgear, a leading Irish manufacturer based in the area, each school will receive 400 new books for each year of the project.
Of these, two hundred will be chosen by the expert Children’s Books Ireland team, selected to capture the students’ interest and attention, and to reflect the richness and diversity of Irish society. A further one hundred titles will be chosen by the students and teachers in each school, further building a sense of ownership over their new library.
Every year for the three years, the schools will also receive class sets of books, which make up the final one hundred books and which will facilitate the set-up of book clubs for TY students. A Champion of Reading – a well-known Irish author or illustrator – will work with the school over three years to encourage creativity and engagement with the library.
Staff will be trained in maximising the use of their new library, while school-wide surveys will measure the long-term impact of the project.
According to the Growing Up in Ireland longitudinal study, at nine years old, only 6% of children in Ireland report never reading for pleasure. At thirteen, however, this figure rises to 19%, and within another four years, there is a significant decline: over half of seventeen-year olds never read for pleasure.
Yvonne Crowley, a teacher at Deansrath Community School, said: ‘The Everyone a Reader project is massive opportunity for our school to develop and foster a love of reading and encourage reading for enjoyment in our students.
‘The excitement in the faces of the students as they browsed all the books is one that I have never seen before and gave them a new way to experience modern titles and books that they could relate to. We are so grateful to have this programme running in our school to enhance our students’ love of reading.’