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03/03/2017 - Another successful year for Read DL 2017

Read DL 2017 Closing Ceremony 379 x 269

Cathaoirleach Cllr. Terence Slowey pictured speaking at the closing Read DL 2017 ceremony 


READ DL 2017 wrapped up for yet another successful year at a closing ceremony at the LYIT on World Book Day on Thursday 2 March.


This year’s chosen title was ‘The Breadwinner’ by Canadian author and activist Deborah Ellis which follows the story of one family’s survival under Taliban rule in Afghanistan. It is told by the daughter, Parvana.


Over 220 pupils from primary and secondary schools across the county travelled great distances to attend this ceremony, which is testament to the strength of positive feeling participants felt towards The Breadwinner.


Master of ceremonies for this event was St. Safan’s National School in Donnyloop. Students from 5th and 6th class enthralled their large audience with their public speaking skills.


Special guests and speakers at the event included An Cathaoirleach Cllr. Terence Slowey, Paul Hannigan, Michael Neary, Brid Barr and Aidan O’Doherty.


The packed venue was treated to a behind the scenes glimpse of the upcoming animation of The Breadwinner, by Kilkenny based animation company Cartoon Saloon. The five minute sneaky peak of what went into making the film was produced especially for the event.


READ DL has grown in strength from it’s humble beginnings four years ago and is now part of the global One Book One Community initiative and has become an integral part of community life in Donegal. 


It is a reading movement that aims to bring Donegal communities together by giving them a shared experience of reading the one book for a period of time in the year.  Children and their families in Donegal are encouraged to read and discuss the chosen book, along with taking part in various activities held in schools, libraries and in the community.


Speaking at the ceremony, An Cathaoirleach Cllr. Terence Slowey said that Donegal County Council, through Donegal County Library Service are proud once again to support such an important community led project whose main aim is the promotion of literacy in Donegal.


He spoke about his own experiences of reading while growing up and how it was such an important part of his childhood. His mother had always told him that “reading is a window to the world”. He thanked all staff in the library service for the part they play in promoting literacy across the county.


This year a total of 38 primary schools, 12 post primary schools, 1 family resource centre, all 6 Youth Reach Centres participated along with countless families and individuals via their local library.


Cllr. Slowey also commented on the importance of reading at every age, and the many advantages to being literate. He empathised that it is never too late to begin reading and paid tribute to the brilliant work of the ETB through their Adult Literacy programmes.


Michael Neary, a local volunteer assisting fleeing refugees from war torn countries, spoke of the conditions that he has experienced during his time volunteering in Greece. His portrayal of his own real life experiences in such camps added an extra dimension to the story.


Winners of the creative writing competition were announced by Brid McIntyre from the Education and Training Board. There were over 120 entries received from primary schools, secondary schools and Adults. The standard of all the entries was very high. Adult first place went to Aoife Grant and 2nd place to Adrian Grant.


Secondary school winners were first place, Alfie Kimmell from Youthreach Gortahork, second place Anna Maya Pawlowski, joint third place was awarded to Eimear Colreavy and Karl Barrett from Magh Ene College in Bundoran. First place in the primary school entries was awarded to Danielle Gibson, second Aimee Wyseman both from Trentagh NS and third went to Emma Peoples from Drumman NS. Drumman National School also won a trip to the Linen Hall in Belfast to see the War Torn Children Exhibition.  


The poignant winning entry by Danielle Gibson from Trentagh National School was read aloud by special guest Brid Barr.


Paul Hannigan, President of Letterkenny Institute of Technology also spoke to thank all of those who attended the ceremony. He added that the LYIT are very proud to be involved in the Read DL initiative through Brian McGonagles’ participation in the committee, purchasing 1,400 books and engaging with primary and secondary schools throughout the county.


Paddy Hannigan, co-chairperson of the Read DL committee wrapped the ceremony up by informing everyone that the Author Deborah Ellis intends to visit Donegal this autumn and the committee hope to create an opportunity for those who participated in this year’s Read DL to see her in person.


While Read DL has officially ended for 2017, many copies of The Breadwinner are still available to borrow for free from your local library. 

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