At events on the 20 and 21 May 2019 in Tralee Education Centre awards were presented to some of the 1,352 children who created, designed and published their own books in Irish as part of the Foras na Gaeilge Scríobh Leabhar (Write a Book) project in County Kerry. The former GAA player and winner of Dancing with the Stars Aidan O’Mahony was in attendance as special guest on the night to celebrate their achievement with the children.
In total this year 120 schools and more than 7,000 children took part in the project and more than 4,000 books were written. Similar events will be held in coming weeks to celebrate what young pupils throughout the country have achieved. Foras na Gaeilge organises Scríobh Leabhar in conjunction with some education centres: Clare Education Centre, West Cork Education Centre, Dublin West Education Centre, Carrick-on-Shannon Education Centre, Laois Education Centre, Tralee Education Centre, Kilkenny Education Centre, Cork Education Support Centre, Gort an Choirce Teachers’ Centre in Donegal and An tÁisaonad in Belfast.
More than 50,000 pupils have taken part in Scríobh Leabhar since it was set up in the 2006/2007 school year. Not only do pupils write their own book as part of this project but they also have the opportunity to read and discuss stories by children from other schools. It gives an exciting opportunity to children to express their feelings through Irish. As well as that, it fosters cooperation between school communities and makes the children aware of the concept of peer review and it especially fosters creativity and a holistic approach to child development. Teachers also have a central role in Scríobh Leabhar, and they are given in-service training to help them help the children in their efforts.
“Scríobh Leabhar gives an opportunity to young children to show their ability, their creativity and their enthusiasm for Irish from a very young age. One of the aims of Foras na Gaeilge is for young people to have opportunities to speak and write and this aim is clearly achieved by Scríobh Leabhar. There has been a great deal achieved when you look at the number of children and schools that have taken part in the project since it was started more than ten years ago”, said Seán Ó Coinn, Foras na Gaeilge CEO. “We are indebted to the Tralee Education Centre and all the other centres for taking part again this year. The centres deserve fulsome praise, as do the children and teachers for the exponential growth of the project”, he said.