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Moyasta's Bookworms on Top

Clare People, Tuesday, 19th June 2007

Children from Moyasta are top of the class when it comes to reading. The 21 studious pupils from Moyasta National School read 2740 books from November 2006 to June 2007 as part of the Clare County Library's transatlantic 'Reading Challenge'. With each child reading an average of 130 and a half books in just under eight months, it is not surprising that the Moyasta bookworms staved off competition from 20 other Clare Schools to be declared the overall winners.

Tubber National School achieved second place and St. Senan's National School, Kilrush finished third. Mayor of Clare Flan Garvey will present the winners and runners-up with their prizes in Kilrush Library on 20th June at 1.30pm.

Last year, Clare County Library linked up with An Garda Síochana, Canadian Libraries, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and 20 of the county's National Schools to promote reading among children. 'The Reading Challenge' forms part of the 'Adopt-a-Library Literacy Program', which was established ten years ago in northern New Brunswick by the RCMP. The police act as the 'bridge' between the community and the library and, in return the library develops programs and activities that directly impact literacy amongst children.

Challenging the Canadian counties of Pictou and Cumberland in Nova Scotia, Clare schools largely contributed to a collective total of 632,259 books that were read by school-children in Ireland and Canada over the past eight months. Participating children in 20 schools in Clare read a cumulative total of almost 72,000 books.

Commenting on Moyasta's success, Patricia Fitzgerald, Assistant Librarian, Children's Services, Clare County Library said, "This is a truly outstanding figure and I would like to compliment the students and their teachers for committing so much of their time to the 'Reading Challenge'".

Ms. Bláthnaid Laffan, a teacher at Moyasta N.S., said, "Moyasta National School is delighted to have taken part and to be announced as the winners of the 'Reading Challenge'. The children really enjoyed the project from beginning to end, with each child having an opportunity to participate at their own level. The challenge most definitely encouraged the children to read more than ever before and the boys in the school were every bit as enthusiastic as the girls."

Meanwhile, Clare County Library has expressed its intention to promote the challenge to other Local Authorities all over the island of Ireland. Clare County Librarian, Noel Crowley, said, "We hope to roll out the literacy programme from this autumn."

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