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Wicklow libraries allocated €23,862 to fund new supports and programmes

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Arklow Library.

Arklow Library.

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD.

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD.

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Arklow Library.

wicklowpeople

Wicklow libraries are set to launch a range of exciting new programmes after being granted €23,862 in funding from the Dorman Accounts Action Plan.

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development and Charities, Joe O’Brien TD, have announced €700,000 in funding for Irish libraries to help them reach out to older people, children from disadvantaged communities, people with disabilities and other marginalised groups. 

This year, Wicklow libraries also submitted projects designed to reach out to Ukrainian families who are living in the Garden county after fleeing the war.

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Among the programmes that have secured funding is ‘Intro to Minecraft’, which is aimed at new Irish children, from direct provision centres and deprived areas. Minecraft is a 3-D computer software platform described as ‘online Lego’ and involves creating structures across different environments, resource gathering, crafting items and building. Attendees will develop software design and development skills.

Funding has also been granted to ‘Finding our Voice’, which is an inter-generational singing session that will take place across three Wicklow care homes. The programme, which supports those with dementia and mobility needs, will also feature activities that are beneficial to pre-school children and care home residents alike.

One programme that is sure to be a big hit is the ‘Comic Club’. This book club for dyslexic children will see Participants will explore a graphic novel over the course of the programme, which will include critical discussions, writing workshops and comic book art workshops. At the end of the programme, a comic created by participants will be published.

Wicklow Library will strengthen its existing relationship with the Shelton Abbey Open Prison after securing funding for the ‘Shelton Abbey Open’ programme. This programme will encourage men from the prison, who are aged 19 and over, to become library members. It will make them aware of resources accessible with their library card and help them to become confident users of the local library in Arklow.

Funding has also been secured for the ‘Families Reading Together’ programme, which is for parents and young children of DEIS families, traveller and direct provision centres. The programme involves an introductory video-based presentation on the benefits of reading together from an early age and how reading fosters the children’s literacy development. It will evolve into an interactive storytelling and rhymes session, to encourage rhythmic beat, tone differentiation and phonological recognition among young children.

Easily one of the most cutting edge and advanced projects to receive funding is the acquisition of 20 C-PENs by Wicklow Library. The C-PEN is a line text scanner for people all of all ages with sensory needs and difficulties such as dyslexia, visual impairments, ASD or disabilities. The pens aim to reduce educational disadvantage and work to reduce early school leaving.

These have already been ordered and will be in Wicklow libraries shortly.

Languages Other Than English (LOTE), which is a programme for literacy and language skills aimed at 3-10 year olds, has also been give the go-ahead. This programme features audio-visual online picture book stories which can be viewed and listened to in English and 50 other languages. Funding will be used to purchase a one year subscription to the programme, which aims particularly to support immigrant populations or marginalised groups.

Finally, the newly approved ‘Times Table Rock Stars’ app promises to be extremely popular among primary school students. Funding will be used to purchase 35 one-year licences of the App, which provides competitive and fun numeracy supports for children.

Speaking after the announcement of the funding, Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council, Cllr Tommy Annesley said: “This significant funding will improve the accessibility of literacy supports across the library network and will further position our public libraries as a valuable community resource.”

Deputy Chief Executive of Wicklow County Council, Michael Nicholson, added, “Wicklow County Council welcomes this funding and will ensure that it is promoted and made available to those who need it most. It will complement literacy support programmes, such as “LEXIA” and “TTRS,” which Wicklow County Council has made available across all schools and libraries in the County.”


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