“Design a Book Project” Awards Ceremony

Fingal Libraries
by Fingal Libraries on January 26, 2017.

On Thursday January 26th of January The Atrium, County Hall, Swords was alive with the sounds of a class of junior infants invited to an award ceremony for a “Design a Book Project”, a collaborative project between Fingal County Council, Libraries Department and the Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown (ITB) opened by Councillor Howard Mahony representing Mayor of […]

On Thursday January 26th of January The Atrium, County Hall, Swords was alive with the sounds of a class of junior infants invited to an award ceremony for a “Design a Book Project”, a collaborative project between Fingal County Council, Libraries Department and the Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown (ITB) opened by Councillor Howard Mahony representing Mayor of Fingal, Councillor Darragh Butler.   The project was undertaken through a Civic Engagement approach which is a process where people join together to deliver something of value to the community and for the benefit of all involved.

4th year students on the module ‘Creative Interventions for the Personal Social and Emotional Development of Children’ in the Bachelor of Arts  (Hons) Degree programme in Early Childhood Care and Education ECCE  were tasked with designing and developing a story book for children from 3-6 years of age that would support children’s personal, social and emotional development.

All of the books written by the students were showcased at events with children from Sacred Heart School, Huntstown, Dublin 15, in November & December 2016 on Campus in ITB. A judging panel, consisting of Children’s Author Joe O’Brien, Senior Executive Librarian Yvonne O’Brien and Margaret O’Donoghue, course coordinator and lecturer (ITB), chose the winning book through observations at the showcase event.

The winning book by student Orlagh McDonald called “Sonas and Daithí” is published by Fingal Libraries and tells the story of Sonas’ first day at school, and his experience trying to find a friend. The book, which is colourfully illustrated, will be available to borrow from all Fingal branch Libraries and as part of the Core Collection for Fingal Libraries Early year’s literacy Strategy ‘The Youngest Ages can turn Pages’. The Core Collection is a resource of sets of the same title for use in a class / crèche setting and is available on request at Blanchardstown and Balbriggan Libraries (see fingal.ie).

County Librarian, Betty Boardman said ‘Fingal County Council, Libraries Division is committed to raising awareness of early literacy and heightening access to and support for it as evidenced by our continuing work as part of Fingal’s Early Years Literacy Strategy. This newly published storybook highlights the benefits of early literacy, and how it can underpin children’s social and emotional development’. Ms Boardman further stated that ‘this project is aligned to the objectives of the national Right to Read initiative which aims to enhance literacy levels throughout the country’.

According to lecturer and course coordinator Margaret O’Donoghue (ITB) ‘the feedback from the students having completed the module was very positive. They particularly enjoyed engaging with the children and the very practical aspect of the project’.

Author Joe O Brien commented that “the standard of books presented was very high and the level of work, creativity and thought that went into each book was amazing, and was reflected in the children’s engagement with each student’s presentation”.

Margaret continued ‘For Me one of the most enjoyable aspects of the project was to welcome our youngest students from the Sacred Heart of Jesus primary school to ITB. The day the bus drove up to our campus and the children got off the bus was a day I will remember. There was a great BUZZ around the place. That in essence is what I see as a critical role of our ECCE Degree Programme at ITB – because although our students do go out on work placement we have not up to this time enjoyed and shared the company of children as young as 3-6 years of age in our ECCE room. This is a project that I hope will continue to develop between ITB and Fingal County Council, libraries Division.

By Yvonne O’Reilly, Fingal Libraries

You can borrow a copy of “Sonas and Daithi” from your local library now – reserve online here