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Ruane encourages children to pick up their favourite book

16 October, 2008

Sinn Féin Education Minister, Caitríona Ruane, is encouraging children and young people to take part in the Children's Books Ireland festival during October.

Speaking after attending a poetry performance by the children's author John Rice in St Malachy's Primary School, Camlough, the Minister said:

"The Children's Books Ireland festival sees events happening across Ireland. I would like to congratulate all the schools involved and would encourage everyone to get involved by picking up a book and starting to read.

"Reading can open up new worlds of imagination to children, promoting enquiry and creativity. Poor levels of attainment in reading and writing at primary school are associated strongly with low achievement later on. Ensuring all children leave school both literate and numerate is one of my key priorities. At present we are consulting on a revised Literacy and Numeracy strategy which aims to raise levels of attainment for all young people in literacy and numeracy, narrowing the gap between the highest and lowest performers.

"The Children's Books Ireland festival helps children to develop their literacy skills and discover the joy of reading and books. Last year 177 schools and over 5,000 young people in the North took part in the festival with the same numbers expected this year. The events being held include author's readings, poet's performances and drama workshops. Festivals such as these are also invaluable for fostering links between writers, poets, artists, communities and schools.

"I thoroughly enjoyed the poetry performance by John Rice and would like to thank St Malachy's for inviting me along and everyone for making the event so enjoyable." ENDS

Note to Editors

  1. Children's Books Ireland (CBI) runs an annual Children's Book Festival. This year's festival will run over the month of October.
  2. The Department has provided £30,000 for all five Education Library Boards to run events connected to the CBI festival through their regional literacy action plan.

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