Children's Books Ireland and MSD Carlow gift hundreds of books to two local primary schools

October 2021
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This week, Children’s Books Ireland gifted over 750 books to two Carlow primary schools, thanks to the generous support of MSD Carlow.

Each child in St Finian’s National School Garryhill and Carlow Educate Together National School received a book of their own to keep, along with a gift bag including a copy of Mind Yourself: Mental Health & Wellbeing Guide, bookmark, stickers and some fun stationary, packed and delivered to schools by MSD Carlow volunteers.

These schools were chosen because of their DEIS status, meaning a higher percentage of students in these schools are experiencing disadvantage.

Since 2008, when the School Library Grant was cut, there has been no earmarked funding for schools to purchase library books which means that many schools struggle to fill their shelves with new, exciting, and relevant books. This is especially true for DEIS schools, where parents of pupils may not be in a position to donate books, or money to buy them. Each school is also being supported by a gift of new books for their school library, so that students will have a wealth of books to choose from.

Reading has the power to change lives for the better, with research clearly demonstrating an array of positive outcomes. Reading for pleasure:

  • Improves literacy and numeracy, builds vocabulary and helps mental wellbeing in young children
  • Is more important for children’s cognitive development than their parents’ level of education, and is a more powerful factor in life achievement than socio-economic background
  • Sparks imagination and brings joy

St Finian’s and Carlow ETNS will also have access to Children’s Books Ireland online Mind Yourself activity pack and author and illustrator videos, so that they can make the most of their new books. 

Elaina Ryan, CEO of Children’s Books Ireland, said:

‘We chose books from Mind Yourself: The Mental Health & Wellbeing Guide for these schools, so that students can use reading as a  ‘first-aid kit’ for worries, sadness, loneliness, anxiety and any number of other feelings.

‘Reading for pleasure can have a positive effect on mental wellbeing, can build empathy in children and young people and is positively linked to better outcomes in later life.

‘We know that the pandemic has been extremely difficult for children and young people, and we hope that these excellent books will provide joy and comfort to children in Carlow.’

Marie Martin, MSD Carlow Site Lead, said:

‘MSD Carlow are absolutely delighted to have come on board with Children’s Books Ireland to donate these books to two local schools. 

‘Being part of the community here in Carlow is hugely important to the team at MSD and we believe that this particular project will hopefully play a key role in encouraging a love of reading in these young children.

‘We know from research that reading offers a wide range of developmental benefits for children In particular, not least it helps develop empathy, builds confidence and expands imagination. 

‘We are delighted to have had this opportunity to support our local community with this project and would like to thank the team at Childrens Books Ireland for all their help & support.’


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.