Children’s Books Ireland is delighted to announce a new partnership with Citi to help engage more children and young people in local disadvantaged schools in the joy of reading and to ensure that every child in these schools is on an equal footing when it comes to access to books and the benefits that reading can bring.
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.
A library of over one hundred books will be gifted to each of three Dublin 1 schools, supported by author and illustrator visits, bringing reading to life and creating memories for the children which will last a lifetime. Citi volunteers will support the programme by assisting at live literature events and Monster Doodles, helping as many children as possible participate in the programme.
Cultural Producer, Bernadette Larkin, currently a Reader in Residence with Dublin City Libraries and Project Manager with Dublin City Council Culture Company’s ‘Our City Our Books’ has developed a support programme – Tendrils– for 6th class students. She will be working with children in one of the schools to ease the transition to secondary school and help those students to maintain the practice of reading during this time. Studies show 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.
CBI’s inaugural Laureate an nÓg (children’s literature Laureate) Siobhán Parkinson noted that ‘Libraries are a marvellous democratic tool: by being inclusive, open to all, they tend to equalise an otherwise very unequal society and are a force for social justice.’ With most schools struggling to maintain a library at all, these interventions will be an invaluable gift to schools in the vicinity of Citi offices.
Joanna Petty, Public Affairs at Citi said ‘Citi is delighted to be partnering with Children’s Books Ireland this year. We are excited to be part of a great initiative which encourages young children to read and instils a lifelong love of reading. We are looking forward to working with Children’s Books Ireland to donate books to school libraries in areas where they are most needed.’
Elaina Ryan, CEO of Children’s Books Ireland said ‘’School libraries are such a valuable asset to children and young people, and with no dedicated government funding for book purchasing, schools must find other ways to nurture a love of reading in their students. Children’s Books Ireland is committed to making books central to every child’s life, and this new project with Citi is sure to have a profound, positive impact on the lives of hundreds of children in Dublin.’