There was great excitement in the Killeshin Hotel, Portlaoise on March 15 when over 280 teachers, principals, parents, grandparents and pupils converged to celebrate the publication of over 340 books written in Irish by 441 pupils from 13 schools in Laois, Offaly, and North Tipperary in the Scríobh Leabhar 2012 project.
This exciting project is co-ordinated by Laois Education Centre in partnership with Foras na Gaeilge.
The Scriobh Leabhar project is a relatively new initiative for Laois Education Centre and links the curricular areas of Visual Arts, and Gaeilge, while also promoting integration with practically every other curricular area for teacher and pupil. It is a particularly valuable tool for teachers to develop pupil creative writing and oral language skills‘as gaeilge’.
Guest of Honour on the night, Jim O’Brien, journalist, author, radio presenter and scriptwriter for RTE complimented Laois Education Centre on the very efficient organisation of the project. He said the books were a great compliment to all the teachers, pupils and parents involved.
He also said that it was not just the number of books published that was significant; it was the quality of the work of all involved. Jim entertained all present with a poem that involved Jedward’s hair, much to the amusement of both young and old. Jim also emphasised how important it is for pupils to take pride in their native language and how evident this was in the beautiful books presented ‘as gaeilge’.
Jim Enright, Director of Laois Education Centre welcomed all present and stated that Laois Education Centre was delighted to be in a position to offer the Scriobh Leabhar project to schools. He commented on the quality and presentation of the books which represented a very diverse range of topics from Mé Féin, Éadai, Gadai Uafasach, agus Gadai, Timpiste etc, all of which were beautifully and artistically illustrated and went on to say that schools involvement in this type of collaborative writing project very much supports the national Numeracy and Literacy strategy as we strive to improve our numeracy and literacy OECD rankings.
Entries were received from four Gaelscoileanna and nine other primary schools. Jim thanked his colleagues in the Education Centre who had done enormous work in coordinating and organizing the project in particular Yvonne Nolan who administered the project.
He also thanked Máire from Foras na Gaeilge for their support of the project. He thanked the principals and teachers who supported their pupils, read other class books and helped with recommending awards. He finally thanked Jim O’Brien for his contribution to the evening.
Máire Uí Fhaogháin from Foras na Gaeilge also commented on the quality of the books and said ‘the standard of written Irish was very high which augured well for the future of Irish in the midlands’.
82 pupils were presented with a medal and a certificate of participation on the evening and each of the 441 participating pupils received a certificate of participation and a Scriobh Leabhar pencil pack.