The Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr John Cummins, launched the ‘One Book, One Community’ Literacy Initiative on behalf of the Waterford Local Education Committee in St. Paul’s Community College school library last Thursday. The aim of ‘One Book, One Community’ is to encourage reading and enjoyment of books, to improve literacy and to promote books, reading and literacy in the family and community. For this initiative, sixth class and first year students in the five cluster schools, Presentation Primary, Presentation Secondary, St. Paul’s Boys’ National School , St. Paul’s Community College and St. Saviour’s Primary School will get a copy of a book to be read over the next few weeks. The book chosen this year is ‘Name Upon Name’ by Sheena Wilkinson. This historical novel is set in 1916 and it links in with this year’s commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising and WW1, especially the Battle of the Somme. It is the story of a family caught up in a war situation. One cousin is in the British Army fighting in France, while another, Michael, is caught up in the action in Dublin in the 1916 Rebellion. Helen, the narrator, is the only one who can save Michael. Does she? We will have to read the book to find out!
The Local Education Committee comprising HSCL teachers, parents, Principals of the five cluster schools , SCP Coordinator, JCSP Librarian, Waterford Area Partnership and Waterford City Library met to discuss the key educational issues affecting students and community. Following the Maths Initiative in 2013 and the Attendance initiative in 2014-15, it was decided that literacy would be highlighted this year. Waterford Area Partnership has kindly sponsored the books, supplemented by the 5 schools and Waterford City Library. In this way, approximately 300 books will find their way into families and communities.
And so to the young people reading the book. Over the next few weeks they will have access to a stimulating resource pack, a fun quiz with prizes, parents and students will have an opportunity to visit the library and /or museum. They will also get to meet the author when Sheena Wilkinson will come to Waterford in early March for ‘Name upon Name’ workshops and to chat with the students.
“Well done to all on the Local Education Committee on the launch of this initiative – Principals, teachers, parents, JCSP library, sponsors. We hope when pupils and students have finished reading ‘Name upon Name’ that more people will be encouraged to join their local library and nurture and develop a love of reading and books” said Mayor Cummins. Thanks to Mayor Cummins for launching the project and to Mr Dermot Power who gave a very inspirational address on Waterford’s involvement in the 1916 Rising. Mayor Cummins offered some very sound advice on reading in his closing address – remember ‘Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body’ so let’s get started!
St Paul’s Community College is also proud to be the only school in Ireland selected in a national competition to have 25 student representatives at the Somme 2016 commemorations in France during the Summer to commemorate the Battle of the Somme. More details on this will be released soon.
To hear a podcast of Ger Lohan’s interview with Mary O’Neill on WLRFM radio please click the link below.