Friday, 23 May 2008

International Reading Challenge – Over One Million Books Read

Clare County Library, in association with An Garda Síochana and National Schools in Clare, has been actively involved in the promotion of reading among children for the second consecutive year through the Reading Challenge Program. The Reading Challenge began in Nova Scotian libraries in Canada and is operated as part of Adopt-a-Library which is a partnership of police, public libraries, and the community who share a common goal of fighting crime at an early age through literacy. Further details can be found on the program’s designated website, 14,669 students from over 80 schools in four countries took part from November 13th to April 5th and almost 1.1 million books were read. Schoolchildren in Clare were encouraged and motivated to read by their teachers, and by regular visits from the gardai and public library staff. First place in the International Reading Challenge went to Big Tancook Elementary School, Nova Scotia, with 632 books read per child. They received the world championship banner and a cheque for $3000 towards books for their school. Lahinch National School in County Clare read the most books per child in the county and were allocated a €2000 book allowance from Clare County Library. The Mayor of Clare, Councillor Patricia McCarthy, presented them with their award at a prize giving ceremony in The Ennistymon Courthouse Gallery and Studios on Thursday the 22nd May (see photo above). Having read an astonishing 467 books per child, they also received a world championship banner and a cheque for $2000 towards books for their school for achieving second place in the International Challenge. Furglan National School in County Clare, read 397 books per child. They were presented with the world championship banner for achieving third place in the International Challenge and a cheque for $1000 towards books for their school. Congratulations also to Clouna National School who had the third highest number of books read out of a total of thirty schools who took place in the project throughout the County. The children of Clouna read an average of 334 books from November 2007 to April 2008 and were presented with a €200 book token compliments of Clare County Library. Clare County Library would like to extend sincere thanks to the teachers and children of all thirty National Schools who took part in the Reading Challenge, and to Sergeant John Staunton, Ennis Garda Headquarters, and the fifteen gardaí who visited schools in the county over the past six months, meeting with schoolchildren and so effectively motivating them to become readers. Plans are under way to extend the Reading Challenge to other library authorities in Ireland during the school year 2008/2009.

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