‘Everyone a Reader’ school library project launches in Clondalkin

South Dublin Libraries

Davenham Switchgear and Children’s Books Ireland to gift a full library of books to three local secondary schools. As reading enjoyment and comprehension slumps among teenagers, a new project from Davenham Switchgear and Children’s Books Ireland aims to draw them back to the bookshelf. ‘Everyone A Reader’, launched recently in Clondalkin, will engage three local schools – Coláiste Bríde, Deansrath Community College and St Kevin’s Community College – to build a love of reading among their students, staff and wider community.

Thanks to a three-year commitment from Davenham Switchgear, a leading Irish manufacturer based in the area, each school will receive 400 new books for each year of the project. Of these, two hundred will be chosen by the expert Children’s Books Ireland team, selected to capture the students’ interest and attention, and to reflect the richness and diversity of Irish society. A further one hundred titles will be chosen by the students and teachers in each school, further building a sense of ownership over their new library.

Every year for the three years, the schools will also receive class sets of books, which make up the final one hundred books and which will facilitate the set-up of book clubs for TY students. A Champion of Reading – a well-known Irish author or illustrator – will work with the school over three years to encourage creativity and engagement with the library. Staff will be trained in maximising the use of their new library, while school-wide surveys will measure the long-term impact of the project.

According to the Growing Up in Ireland longitudinal study, at nine years old, only 6% of children in Ireland report never reading for pleasure. At thirteen, however, this figure rises to 19%, and within another four years, there is a significant decline: over half of seventeen-year olds never read for pleasure. By engaging directly with teenagers at this critical point in their reading journey, this project aims to ensure that every student leaving the school considers themselves a reader, and can enjoy the many opportunities opened up by a regular habit of reading.

Yvonne Crowley, a teacher at Deansrath Community School, said: ‘The Everyone a Reader project is a massive opportunity for our school to develop and foster a love of reading and encourage reading for enjoyment in our students. The excitement in the faces of the students as they browsed all the books is one that I have never seen before and gave them a new way to experience modern titles and books that they could relate to. We are so grateful to have this programme running in our school to enhance our students’ love of reading.’

John Corcoran, Managing Director of Davenham Switchgear, said: ‘We are delighted to be supporting the local schools through Children’s Books Ireland. We have been based here in Clondalkin for over forty years and a lot of our success has been through local employment. The Everyone A Reader programme, launched last week, is key to engaging with younger students to develop their reading skills. We will continue to support Children’s Books Ireland in this initiative.’       

Elaina Ryan, CEO of Children’s Books Ireland, said: ‘We are thrilled to be working with Davenham Switchgear to foster a lasting culture of reading in their local community. The long-term nature of this project means that we can really engage with each school, boosting their shelves with brilliant books, sharing our expertise and making sure every student feels that there’s at least one book in their new library that they can pick up and bring home. Making reading fun and accessible is the first step in building a young person’s identity as a reader, and is front of mind for ourselves and Davenham as we begin this new partnership.’

Sarah Brooks

Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of www.newsgroup.ie with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at info@newsgroup.ie.



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