Reading books gets champions to the top!

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What do Bressie, the Dublin team and Eoin Colfer have in common?

They are all champions for reading! Singers, runners, footballers, and actors are among the well known personalities to give their support to readingchampions.ie, a new website which promotes positive role models for children’s reading.

‘Reading is one of the most important gifts a parent can give to their child’ said Dublin City Lord Mayor Oisín Quinn, speaking at the launch of the site: ‘Reading opens so many opportunities and possibilities to children. Not only is it a valuable educational tool it is also food for the imagination and soul. The Reading Champions website encourages and promotes reading to children by featuring twenty three well known people sharing their experiences of reading.  I want to congratulate the work of all the librarians involved in bringing this project to fruition, I know it will be a great source of inspiration for everyone who uses it” said the Lord Mayor.   

The Reading Champions website, readingchampions.ie, is a joint initiative of a group of librarians from six different local authorities who asked famous writers, sportspeople and celebrities to say what reading means to them and to become ambassadors for children’s reading.

Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn, launched the website today (27th March) with the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Oisin Quinn, Mayor Mark Wall from Kildare, Cathaoirleach Carrie Smyth from Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Mayor Kieran Dennison from Fingal, Deputy Mayor Cllr Mick Duff from South Dublin and Mayor Larry Bannon from Longford.

Speaking at the event in Pearse Street library Minister Quinn remarked: ‘The Reading Champions website is a celebration of books and reading which showcases people from a wide variety of disciplines who love reading and are happy to be seen reading; who take books with them when travelling, working and relaxing. These champions know the value of reading; whether it's for work or pleasure. They know the joy that books bring to their lives and they want to inspire our children to experience this joy too. The Reading Champions website offers a resource to schools and parents which can be used to help inspire this love of reading in children’.

Supporting the initiative musician Bressie said ‘The knowledge that has gifted me most in life always came from reading. To be able to create your own imagery in your head from words on a page is a beautiful thing. That's why I love reading’.

Ends

For Further Information please contact:

Dublin City Council Media Relations Office T. (01) 222 2170, M. 087 740 0277.
https://twitter.com/DubCityCouncil        www.facebook.com/DublinCityCouncil
https://twitter.com/SummerBuzz 

For Further Information on the initiative and to see a list of the twenty three Reading Ambassadors please log onto: www.readingchampions.ie

Notes to the Editor:

The six Local Authorities involved are:  Dublin City Council, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, Fingal County Council, South Dublin County Council, Kildare County Council and Longford County Council.
The Reading Champions who attend the launch will be presented with a medal by Minister Quinn in recognition of their role as ambassadors for reading.

4th and 5th classes from City Quay National School will be attending the launch.
Some of the Twenty three Reading Ambassadors will be attending the launch.
Public libraries in Ireland are run by Local Authorities and there are 17 million visits made to public libraries each year with 19.3 million books, audio books, CDs and DVDs borrowed  annually. (Local Government Management Agency 2013)

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