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PHOTOS: Childrens Books Ireland Launch Bookseed Project

Childrens Books Ireland – Pictured at the launch of Bookseed in the HSE Primary Health Care Centre is Breda O’Farrell, Public Health Department, Daiden O’Regan, CBI, Elaina Ryan, CBI Director, Anne Hudson, ADPHN, Mary Shanahan, Director of Public Health Nursing and Marie O’Sullivan, PHN. Picture: Orla McLaughlin/ilovelimerick.

Childrens Books Ireland Launch Bookseed Project

Childrens Books Ireland is the national children’s books organisation of Ireland. On Thursday, April 25 Children’s Books Ireland launched ‘Bookseed’ which is a book-gifting project for babies which was made possible by the generosity of the JP McManus Benevolent Fund.

Almost 4,000 books are to be given to babies in Limerick City and County through the new Bookseed programme. By giving families three books in their baby’s first year of life, the project encourages and supports parents, guardians or carers to share books with their child from a very early stage and to foster in them a lifelong love of reading. It also makes families aware of the cultural, emotional and social benefits gained by reading books and sharing stories with children.

Elaina Ryan, director of Childrens Books Ireland said, “We are delighted to be launching Bookseed, with its key message that it’s never too early to read with a child. We hope that the scheme has a positive impact on families and communities and that it helps to ensure that sharing books becomes a favourite activity in the home with even the youngest children.”

In partnership with the HSE and Limerick City and County Library Service, the project will be run over the next two years in six areas of the city and county: Abbeyfeale, Barrack View (city centre), Croom, Newcastle West, Rathkeale and Southill. The books chosen for the scheme are all by Irish author-illustrators and were carefully selected to appeal to very young children. The first book, Owl Bat Bat Owl by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick, is a wordless picture book, allowing families of all nationalities and those with literacy issues to share the story by reading the visual narrative. Bookseed was evaluated by a team from Mary Immaculate College, Limerick.

Dr Sindy Joyce was a guest speaker on the day. Sindy is a PhD graduate from the University of Limerick. She is from the travelling community and is a human rights defender. Sindy spoke about the inclusivity of the books and “the importance of difference and tolerance and how children and babies can learn the importance of acceptance of difference and tolerance in society. That is why I am fully behind this initiative and I hope it goes the best.”

The first books have already been given to babies at their three-month health check with their Public Health Nurse, with another to follow at their seven to nine-month health check, and the final book to be collected from the public library around the child’s first birthday.

Elaina Ryan told ilovelimerick “We are hoping these families will come into the library and join the library so that we can start telling people that it is never too soon to read with your child and that there are all sorts of way of reading, you do not have to read it word for word, you can look at the pictures and tell your own stories.”

For further information, contact Elaina Ryan, Director, Childrens Books Ireland [email protected] or call on 01  872 7475 or 087 9344687.

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Pictures: Orla McLaughlin

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.