Athy students receive their awards

Pupils from Kildare gathered in the Watershed Leisure Centre, Kilkenny recently to receive their awards for the annual Scríobh Leabhar project.

Pupils from Kildare gathered in the Watershed Leisure Centre, Kilkenny recently to receive their awards for the annual Scríobh Leabhar project.

They were among the thousands of primary school pupils throughout the island of Ireland who were inspired again this year to use their creative skills and compose, design and publish their very own book in Irish as part of Foras na Gaeilge’s Scríobh Leabhar project. Today’s ceremony is only one of many that are taking place throughout the island of Ireland until the end of the school year, celebrating the children’s achievements. Children’s author Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin was on hand at the presentation to present medals and certificates to the winning pupils. In all, 1,000 children participated in the project in the Kilkenny area and there were 84 award winners.

Since its launch in the 2006/2007 school year, more than 25,000 pupils have participated in the Scríobh Leabhar project. As part of this initiative, children not only write their own books, but they also have the opportunity to read and discuss stories written by children in other schools. Teachers also have a central role in Scríobh Leabhar and they are offered in-service courses to help them support the pupils with their efforts.

“This is a great way for children to have fun with the Irish language whilst using their imagination,” said Aedín Ní Bhroin, Director of Clár na Leabhar Gaeilge, Foras na Gaeilge. “The subjects are so varied, they write about everything from their family holiday, adventures with their friends, their pets and their lives as they see it.” she said.

The Scríobh Leabhar project is run by Foras na Gaeilge in conjunction with a number of Education Centres, namely Mayo Education Centre, Laois Education Centre, Kilkenny Education Centre, Tralee Education Centre, Wexford Education Centre, West Cork Education Centre and Gortahork Education Centre, County Donegal. An tÁisaonad in Northern Ireland also participates in the project.

“Immersing children from an early age in both writing and speaking Irish is one of our main objectives and this project goes a long way to achieving this goal” said Ferdie Mac an Fhailigh, Chief Executive of Foras na Gaeilge. “The support of the Education Centres involved as well as from An tÁisaonad is greatly appreciated and they as well as the pupils and teachers are to be commended in helping to make this project such a success,” he said.

“We’re delighted to be involved in the Scríobh Leabhar project,” said Paul Fields, Director of Kilkenny Education Centre. “We see it as a way to help children to use their imagination and improve their writing skills through their stories,” he said.