Children’s Books Ireland to receive £50,000 from Ecclesiastical Movement for Good Awards

Elaina Ryan, CEO of Children’s Books Ireland, and David Lane, Managing Director of Ecclesiastical Ireland, pictured with 6th class pupils Sean Aren, Chelsea Breen and Shivee Seegobin at St. Mary’s National School, Dorset Street, Dublin. Children’s Books Ireland was one of 10 charities awarded a prize of £50,000 in Ecclesiastical’s Movement for Good Awards, and will use the funds to extend its Book of the Year Awards and the associated shadowing scheme to 60 new schools across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.  In 2019, Ecclesiastical gave away a total of £1,000,000 in its Movement for Good Awards. Pic. Robbie Reynolds

Children’s Books Ireland is delighted to be the only Irish charity selected as a recipient of Ecclesiastical’s Movement for Good Awards. Ten organisations have been granted £50,000 for great causes – view the full list here. The award will allow Children’s Book Ireland to gift books and facilitate author visits to schools all over Ireland over a three-year period as part of the Children’s Books Ireland Book of the Year Awards Shadowing Scheme, ensuring that children in disadvantaged schools have equal access to the joy of reading and the benefits that reading can bring.

Elaina Ryan, CEO of Children’s Books Ireland said ‘Winning this fund enables Children’s Books Ireland to continue on our mission to make books central to every child’s life, and will have a profound, positive impact on the lives of thousands of children all over Ireland. As we continue to advocate for the reinstatement of the school library grant, we are delighted to have another means of bringing books to the students and schools that might not otherwise have access to reading.’

Research shows that reading drops off substantially between the ages of 9 and 13 so this is a crucial time to work with children on developing and maintaining a love of reading. Children’s Books Ireland will focus on children in senior classes of primary school when we recruit new Shadowing groups in January 2020. The fund will enable us to gift shortlisted books from the Children’s Books Ireland Book of the Year Awards and bring authors and illustrators into 20 additional schools per year for three years across Northern Ireland and the Republic.

The Shadowing Scheme is a unique programme that encourages children to read widely and have their voices heard by voting in the Children’s Choice Award. Research shows that children who read for pleasure tend to be more absorbed in school, have better academic skills and improved wellbeing. Expanding the scheme would provide children with shortlisted books, specially designed activity packs and author/illustrator visits, enabling more children to discover the joy of reading and all its benefits.

Increasing the number of children participating over the next three years will help develop longer-term engagement and enjoyment in reading for pleasure as well as developing skills such as debating, critical thinking and visual literacy. Reading enables every child to reach their potential, with research showing that readers have improved mental well-being, better literacy and numeracy skills and a higher likelihood of success at school and beyond. Reading can offer children their first opportunity to see the outside world and the diverse society they live in.

The Ecclesiastical Movement for Good works to give back to the communities they operate in and championing the issues that really matter to them – working together to build a movement for good.