Educational researchers have found that there is a strong link between reading and academic success. Reading is encouraged from a very early age as a means of developing the mind and introducing children to a vast world of knowledge.
In St. Brendan’s College we have identified the need for the promotion of reading and literacy. We now have a reading room open to students at lunch time on specific days. In conjunction with the local library, we have a wide selection of interesting books available to the students.
The room is equipped with comfortable chairs so that students can relax and enjoy reading a book of their choice. This room is supervised by the HSCL co-ordinator Margaret Heffron and the School Completion Programme Project Worker, Deirbhle Langan.
In School-Paired Reading Initiative
A Paired Reading Initiative with the First Year students and their corresponding Big Brother/Big Sister is currently taking place in the school. This is a follow-on from the ‘Reading For Fun’ Initiative which took place in the Autumn of last year. The students meet once a week during a first year English class where they bring in a book of their choice to read. Together with their Big Brother/Big Sister they take turns reading their book, and complete a review at the end of each class. The purpose of the programme is to encourage and develop an interest in reading, both in school and at home and parents are encouraged to participate in the programme. This programme is run by Ms. Carolan, JCSP Co-ordinator and Mrs. Heffron, HSCL Co-ordinator.
As part of the Literacy Programme in St. Brendan’s College, the co-ordinators of JCSP Ms Michelle Carolan and HSCL Mrs. Margaret Heffron decided to run a reading initiative to promote awareness of the importance of reading in the home. This initiative not only targeted all of the Junior Certificate students in St. Brendan’s College but also reached out to all 5th and 6th class students in the 15 primary schools in Erris. The initiative involved each student choosing a book from a list of 8 popular authors which they read over a period of 5 weeks and then completed a book review. St. Brendan’s College also hosted a Celebratory Evening for all the participants and their parents and teachers, which took place in the school’s state of the art Sports Hall. Guest speakers included Dr. Katie Sweeney, CEO Mayo VEC, Mick O’Riordan, Regional JCSP Co-ordinator and Mayo Captain and All-Star Alan Dillon. Each student proudly accepted their Certificate of Participation on the night from Alan Dillon, his fellow team mate Donal Vaughan and our local sporting hero Henry Coyle WBF Champion. Another highlight of the evening was the performance by the renowned storyteller Niall de Burca who had everyone on the edge of their seats with intrigue and laughter. He also presented the winners of the Best Book Review in each category with certificates and prizes sponsored by Mayo Library, Carey’s Newsagents and Easons. Special thanks to Katie Healy, local librarian for her help and support throughout the initiative, to the teachers and principals of the National Schools for their participation and co-operation, the Broadhaven Bay Hotel, the English department in St. Brendan’s College, the Home Economics department who catered for over four hundred people on the night with mouth-watering refreshments and a final word of thanks to the students of St. Brendan’s College who helped make the event such a success. (See pictures below)