Every Child A Reader – Reading Communities Artist Callout

Children’s Books Ireland is seeking four Champions of Reading to work with our school Reading Communities as part of our Every Child a Reader project over a three-year period thanks to the generous funding received from the RTÉ Toy Show Appeal with the Community Foundation for Ireland. The schools are based in counties Mayo, Galway, Cork and Louth, and applicants must be willing and able to travel to these schools on a regular basis as part of their brief. You can learn more about the four schools here.

ABOUT CHILDREN’S BOOKS IRELAND:

Children’s Books Ireland’s vision is an Ireland in which books are central to every child’s life and where meaningful engagement with books is supported by passionate and informed adults in families, schools, libraries and communities across Ireland. Children’s Books Ireland is a registered charity.

Children’s Books Ireland delivers numerous projects that bring the joy of reading to children all over the island of Ireland including Laureate na nÓg (the children’s literature laureate), the KMPG Children’, Children’s Books Ireland Book Clinics, a magazine and annual reading guide, an annual conference and various book-gifting schemes which ensure that children and young people in areas of need have access to books. We work with a number of corporate partners, and have an ongoing strategic partnership with RTÉjr. Children’s Books Ireland is the go-to organisation for children’s book coverage across various media. For more information, visit our website: www.childrensbooksireland.ie

ABOUT THIS PROJECT:

We are looking for four Champions of Reading – children’s authors, illustrators, poets or storytellers – each of whom will work with one of our four Reading Community schools over a three-year period. Each school will receive 1,000 books for their school library over the lifetime of the project.  The role of the Champion of Reading will be to encourage students’ active engagement with books, nurture a love of reading in the students and foster creative engagement with children’s literature. This engagement will draw on each artist’s unique skills and talents, but will not be solely focused on their own work; rather it is an opportunity to work on a long-term basis to help develop a sustainable reading culture in each school by making connections with the students, staff and wider community.

The aim of this project is to ensure every child in each of these four schools has the opportunity, access and support to become a reader. We are committed to evaluating our programmes and measuring our impact as effectively as possible and will be measuring impact on the following outcomes:

  • – Children in the school are reading more, reading more widely and enjoying reading more
  • – All children see themselves reflected in the books in their school library
  • – Wider school community involvement – included and invested in the project, especially parents/guardians, siblings, grandparents and local community
  • – All school staff are more confident using books in the classroom, recommending books and encouraging use of the school library

The Children’s Books Ireland team will support the Reading Communities, bringing our expertise and enthusiasm to the selection of library books, overseeing project planning and providing useful resources for the school staff to draw on.

ABOUT THE ROLE – THE CHAMPION OF READING:

  • – will engage the whole school in a reading for pleasure project
  • – will encourage the whole school and wider school community’s use of the library
  • – will trainand support school staff to deliver parts of the project when the Champion of Reading is not present – this will especially be a factor in larger schools
  • – will use a small programming budget to invite in other children’s book artists to support areas of the project
  • – will work with Children’s Books Ireland and the school to plan what materials will be required
  • – will submit to being Garda Vetted by Children’s Books Ireland

THE IDEAL APPLICANT:

  • – must be a professionally published children’s author, illustrator, poet or storyteller (or a storyteller with at least two years’ experience)
  • – must have at least three years’ experience delivering workshops for children
  • – should have an interest in working with a whole school, and towards our ‘Every Child A Reader’ goal
  • – should have some experience or be comfortable with working with all primary school ages
  • – should have some experience delivering longer term projects (over weeks or months) – in schools or working with groups of children
  • – should be comfortable delivering short pieces to camera about the project. RTÉ are partners on this project and we will want to be able to tell the story of these schools

Locations:

  • – St Brendan’s NS, Kilmeena, Co. Mayo
  • – Scoil Chroí Íosa, Newcastle, Galway
  • – Scoil na Croise Naofa, Mahon, Cork
  • – St Joseph’s NS, Dundalk, Co. Louth

Start date: September 2021, with some planning meetings over Zoom with schools in June

Contract duration: Three years,with a three-month probation period

Hours of work:

  • – the artist will spend 1–2 days per month onsite during school term time, a total of fifteen days per school year, one day being approximately 10am to 2pm, though we would not expect 4 hours of contact time with students in that time. Relationship-building with school staff is key to the success and longevity of the project.
  • – how this time is divided is flexible – if travelling a distance to the school, contact time can be concentrated together; if the school is nearby, the artist can discuss with the school the best schedule of contact time
  • – We hope the majority of the project work will be in person, subject to Covid–19 restrictions at any given time

Remuneration/benefits:

The annual fee is €6,000 (inclusive of VAT if charged) per year for three years. This is based on a daily rate of €400 x 15 days, with some preparation time included.
It is our understanding that this activity would be VAT exempt, but the burden of proof to Revenue is on the artist, and artists should consult with their accountant.
Travel costs and expenses will be covered in addition to this fee.

To submit an expression of interest:

Please complete this  expression of interest form and let us know:

  • – what you would envisage doing with a Reading Community school with the end goal of making Every Child A Reader, taking into particular account the nature of a three-year-project (200 words or less)
    • please use bullet points
    • please include ideas to support students’ engagement with the school library, as well as drawing in the wider school community
    • the final project activities will be developed collaboratively with school staff, students and Children’s Books Ireland
  • – please indicate which school/s you are interested in working with (and how you plan to travel there). We will endeavour to match artists with schools that require the least amount of travel distance.
  • – please highlight your relevant experience working with primary schools and/or children (200 words or less, bullet points)
  • – please provide a link to your website if you have one or a brief biography if not (100 words or less)

Closing date for expressions of interest is Wednesday 9 June at 5pm. If interviews take place, they will be during the week of the 14 June.