What was your favourite childhood book?

BITCI News - Mar 07, 2016
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Seamus Gill, Bord Gais, with Sophie Gando, Ellie Leahy Greene and Katelyn Burns, Scoil Aiseiri Chriost Farranree, at the "Time to Read" BITCI education programme in the Blackpool Library.
Pic John Sheehan Photography

Black Beauty, Matilda, the Wizard of Oz…

Can you remember your favourite book growing up?

Thinking back to our favourite childhood book can bring back so many memories, growing up with these magical stories. Whilst they are now memories for adults, they are possible adventures and worlds to be discovered for so many young children out there.

Reading when you’re a child is not only fun, but also so important, it can shape your world and have a significant impact on who you are going to be when you grow up.

For some young children in Ireland however, reading isn’t a pleasure. On average one in ten children has serious difficulty with literacy and in some disadvantage schools this number is as high as one in three.

Parent’s involvement varies; in many cases, the adults themselves can be challenged by their own literacy skills and for this reason they are unable to encourage or support reading to their children.

That’s why in 2010 Business in the Community Ireland developed the Time to Read programme providing 2nd class children (7-9 year old) with the opportunity to receive reading support from business volunteers. The programme increases the enjoyment of, and confidence in, reading whilst encouraging self-discovery. This makes the perfect employee engagement programme for companies who want to have an impact on Irish education or want to make a difference in the local community.

 

A powerful employee engagement initiative with real impact

Time to Read, sponsored by ESB through its Energy for Generations Fund, is a powerful employee engagement programme that staff love doing and the impact on the children involved is just incredible. The outcomes are transformative not only for the child but in most cases for the whole family.

But the impacts are not only for the children but the business volunteers too. This is what volunteers who took part this year have said:

No Reproduction Fee Karen Hillard, Bord Gais, withShanice Browne, Scoil Aiseiri Chriost, Farranree, at the "Time to Read" BITCI education programme in the Blackpool Library. Pic John Sheehan Photography“it exceeded my expectations, I did not realise the impact that it would have on the children and even ourselves. It makes you proud that these kids look up to us and delighted that our company was part of such a great programme.” Business Volunteer

A quote from a parent:


Pic 10“His reading has come on so well. I think it’s his confidence. It has come on so much. I’m so happy with him. He is brighter and happier about books. I have to say it’s good because he makes me sit and listen to him”.

 

 
 

Back to school in September – How Time to Read works

 

No Reproduction Fee Finnola Browne, Bord Gais, with Sophie Gondo, Shanice Browne and Niamh Daly, pupils from Scoil Aiseiri Chriost Farranree at the "Time to Read" BITCI education programme in the Blackpool Library. Pic John Sheehan Photography

We now have an additional 18 opportunities for companies to come on board and start the programme this September. Your company can get involved by signing up to the programme, we will train 10-12 volunteers who will then go into the school once a week for 10 weeks each and listen to the children reading for an hour. You will also have the opportunity to bring the children on a trip to your workplace giving them a glimpse into the work life and also to the local library. This initiative has been running for the past for four years and 32 great companies have been involved including ESB, Friends First, Elavon, Lionbridge, Irish Life, Gas Networks Ireland and KPMG amongst others. Watch the Time to Read experience told by ESB volunteers.

Show support of children’s literacy on Social Media

What’s your favourite childhood book? #Time2Read #favechildhoodbook Help us raise awareness of the programme and show your support to improve children’s literacy by sharing on your social media networks your favourite childhood book using the hashtags #Time2Read #favechildhoodbook

To sign up or to find out more contact Germaine Noonan on 086 816 0448 or gnoonan@bitc.ie