Children’s Books Ireland today launches its Impact Report 2020, documenting the scale and depth of its efforts during the year to bring the joy of reading to children and young people all over the country. Through the four Strategic Aims set out by the organisation and its Board of Directors, the report details the reach and impact of Children’s Books Ireland, its projects and campaigns in 2020.
Nearly 19,000 books were gifted across Ireland by the organisation throughout the year, as the team worked to keep children and young people connected with reading through the pandemic.
On the launch of the Impact Report 2020, CEO Elaina Ryan said:
‘2020 was a record year for the organisation, achieving some of our most ambitious projects to date. As lockdown confined us all to our homes early in the year, as in-person events were cancelled, income was lost and many felt isolated and afraid, the Children’s Books Ireland team kicked into gear.
‘Through conversations with parents and carers, teachers, children’s writers and illustrators, and through our own research, we identified emerging needs as the pandemic progressed and worked hard to meet them. New partnerships and public support helped us to gift nearly 19,000 books to young readers in 2020, targeting communities of particular need such as members of the Travelling community and children living in Direct Provision centres and family hubs. By the end of the year, over 23% of all children under 12 in Ireland had received a copy of our ImagineNation playbook produced in partnership with An Post – an incredible figure.
‘Our wonderful, all–island community of children’s artists were particularly affected by the pandemic – 69% of those surveyed reported that they found it difficult to work in 2020. We owe so much to the immense talent and commitment of children’s authors and illustrators, and are proud to have supported hundreds of artists to continue their work through upskilling workshops and virtual events during the year.
‘For Children’s Books Ireland, 2020 was a year of real change, connection and growth. I’m so proud of all that the team has achieved, and I’m pleased to say that thanks to the support of our corporate and charity partners, our community of schools, children’s artists and the wider public, the organisation is approaching its twenty-fifth birthday in a stronger position than ever.’
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Children’s Books Ireland is the national charity and arts organisation that champions every child’s right to develop a love of reading. Our mission is to inspire a love of reading in children and young people in Ireland, to share our expertise and enthusiasm with the adults who guide and influence them, to champion every child’s right to excellent books and live literature events and support the artists who make that goal possible across the island of Ireland.