Limerick community switch off TVs to make reading top priority

Daniel Tighe

Reporter:

Daniel Tighe

our Lady of Lourdes Local Education Committee have come up with a novel idea to promote reading throughout the community.

our Lady of Lourdes Local Education Committee have come up with a novel idea to promote reading throughout the community.

It is the goal of the parish to read 1,000 books in four weeks. Deputy mayor Maria Byrne launched the initiative entitled, Read 1000 Literacy Project, last Wednesday at an event in Our Lady of Lourdes School.

Tracy Fitzgerald, Home School Community Liaison Coordinator, said: “We are always trying to promote reading and learning, not just in schools because we’d always find that kids are inclined to read in school but when they go home they just want to forget about it. So we have to get the parents and the community aware of its importance.”

Ms Fitzgerald believes that while reading and the digital age are not entirely incompatible there is still a need to encourage reading in society.

“Children will sit down in front of the TV and be completely passive instead of engaging with reading. If you’re interested in something, anything at all there is a book about it. If you’re interested in horses there is a book about horses, if you’re interested in cars there is a book about cars.

“Reading can satisfy a lot of people’s interests and needs,” added Ms Fitzgerald.

It is hoped everyone from adults to children will take part in the campaign.

The parish has a long history of being pro-active in raising awareness of issues that they feel strongly about.

The launch of the reading initiative was a completely fair-trade affair with all refreshments carrying the fairtrade label.

“The kids and the parents have written to the local shops to see if they could stock fairtrade uniforms. It’s something we’re working on,” said Ms Fitzgerald of the parish’s campaign to gain full fairtrade status.