Mr. Joe O’Brien, T.D., Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development and Charities, has launched the Summer Stars Reading Adventure, which is a reading programme that will take place in library branches over the summer months. This programme is being supported by a range of online activities such as story time sessions, quizzes and a national short story competition taking place in public libraries throughout the country.
The National Summer Stars Reading Adventure is part of the Right to Read literacy initiative that encourages children to enjoy the fun and pleasure of reading and to participate in reading and a range of events and activities at their library.
The Minister said:
“The Summers Stars programme is a fantastic annual event which sees libraries delivering a reading programme and a variety of activities for the whole family, such as online story time sessions, quizzes and a national short story competition. The range of activities being provided also includes treasure hunts, magic shows, Harry Potter nights, craft workshops, Summer Book Bus and LEGO challenges.”
“Summer Stars is free to all children and I encourage parents and children to contact their local library and get involved.”
The programme is in its eighth year and the focus of the campaign is to support and co-ordinate children and families in literacy and reading development activities.
The initiative takes place in all 330 public libraries and is co-ordinated at national level by the Right to Read Steering Group, chaired by the Department of Rural and Community Development in collaboration with Libraries Development in the LGMA.
Colette Byrne, Chief Executive, Kilkenny County Council and Chair of the Libraries Development Committee, LGMA said:
“The Summer Stars programme is all about encouraging children to read for fun, which has so many important long term benefits. As well as improving literacy, reading can help develop creativity, wellbeing and self-esteem. Even though things are a little different because of COVID-19, we’re delighted libraries have been able to adapt and find creative ways to continue the Summer Stars programme so many children and families enjoy each year.”
Minister O’Brien launched the programme at the opening of the new North Clondalkin Library in County Dublin.
The Department of Rural and Community Development provided funding of €1 million under its Library Capital Programme towards the overall €6.2 million cost of the new library.
The Minister said:
“The public library strategy, ‘Our Public Libraries 2022’ seeks to establish a modern, progressive library service that connects and supports communities, and provides a go-to-place for a range of integrated public services.
“This wonderful facility in Clondalkin certainly delivers on that. It realises the potential of a modern, evolving library service and offers lifelong learning opportunities – supporting literacy, and provides access to a wide range of online resources and modern technology.”
The Minister also acknowledged the role of South Dublin County Council staff and commended the collaboration between local and central government that has brought North Clondalkin Library to this stage.