Children’s Books Ireland is pleased to announce that it will be working to bring the joy of reading to children in four primary schools in Cork, Dublin, Louth and Waterford thanks to the support of The Ireland Funds.

Last Autumn we asked schools to tell us about the impact COVID-19 had on reading in their school as part of our school libraries application process. Nearly 400 schools applied, and told us about the many issues the pandemic has caused; a reduction in lending of the books they do have, not being able to let the children browse, or share books, a curtailment of many of the fun activities around books and reading, stopping reading programmes that involved parents/guardians, grandparents or other adults encouraging reading in the home and the additional demand for more books for children at home for long periods. As in previous years, teachers also described empty shelves, purchasing books out of their own pockets and scouring charity shops. The need for support of reading for pleasure in schools is stark.

Thanks to the generous support of The Ireland Funds, Children’s Books Ireland is now able to work with four additional schools, who join many other schools on our school book-gifting programme which has now been running for five years. These schools will receive libraries of excellent books, artists to work with their students as Champions of Reading, video workshops for all classes in the school and a digital whole school Monster Doodle. Staff will also be supported with resources from Children’s Books Ireland.

Our new partner schools told us about the need for brilliant new books for their school libraries, but more importantly they showed us the hard work teachers are already doing to create a culture of reading in their school. We know that by working together we can make a real impact on these schools. The chosen schools are:

– Presentation Primary Fermoy, Cork
– St Joseph’s CBS, Louth
– An Teaghlaigh Naofa, Waterford
– Saint Audoen’s National School, Dublin

We look forward to working with them this school term.