20 June 2013: New Programme Supports Literacy Skills of Primary School Children
Abbott, Longford, has partnered with St. Michael’s Boys National School, Longford, on the Schools Business Partnership, Time to Read Programme. The Time to Read programme is Ireland’s first business to education reading initiative. The programme, run by Business in the Community Ireland, partners volunteer employees from a local business with children in a local national school to assist them to increase their enjoyment of books by improving fluency and comprehension when reading.
Abbott is the first company to sign-up to the programme in this region and joins 12 other leading companies involved in the programme nationwide. Ten volunteer employees from Abbott’s diagnostic manufacturing facility are spending twenty four weeks reading with ten children from second class in St. Michael’s Boys National School Longford on a weekly basis. Each weekly session lasts one hour and two of the sessions involve a visit to the local library, which parents are also invited to attend and a visit to Abbott’s diagnostics manufacturing facility.
“We are delighted that Abbott in Longford has come on board with the ‘Time to Read’ programme. Studies have shown that one in ten children in Irish primary schools have serious difficulty with reading and writing but this rises to between 27-30% in some disadvantaged schools. Encouraging an interest in reading is the main priority of Time to Read but the success of the programme relies on companies getting involved and providing the opportunity to their employees to volunteer as mentors. Abbott is the first company in the midlands to get involved which gives us the opportunity to bring this programme to local schools.” said Germaine Noonan, Programme Manager, Schools Business Partnership.
“Having an impact on education in our local area is very important to Abbott. These young school children are potential Abbott employees of the future so investment in their development now is a win-win situation for everyone involved. The pupils really look forward to the sessions each week as do our employees.” said Stefan Molitor, Site Director, Abbott, Longford.
At the end of the programme a celebration event will be held in St Michael’s School with the Abbott volunteers and the children where they will receive a Certificate of Achievement from Time to Read.
The Time to Read programme is run by the Schools Business Partnership under Business in the Community Ireland.
Ten employees from Abbott, Longford, over 24 weeks delivered the Schools Business Partnership programme, Time to Read, to second class students at St. Michael’s Boys School, Longford. The programme, run by Business in the Community Ireland, partners volunteer employees from a local business with children in a local national school to assist them to increase their enjoyment of books by improving fluency and comprehension when reading. Abbott is the first company to bring the Time to Read programme to the midlands. Abbott employees pictured (left to right): Siobhan Devlin; Eilish Quinn; Oliver McBrearty; Karen Whitlow; John Lennon; Sinead Nolan; Denise Hannigan; Linda Lee and Eimear McGlade (missing Deirdre O’Mahoney) with second class students for St. Michael’s Boys National School.
Schools Business Partnership
Further information available from Fania Ellison, Programme Coordinator, 086 045 9578 firstname.lastname@example.org or Germaine Noonan, Programme Manager, Schools Business Partnership, 32 Lower O Connell Street, Dublin 1. Tel 01 874 73813 Mobile 086 816 0448 email email@example.com
Further information available from Patricia Reilly, The Schools’ Business Partnership, Business in the Community Ireland, 32 Lower O Connell Street, Dublin 1. Mobile 086 028 8936 email firstname.lastname@example.org and web www.bitc.ie
Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI)
SBP Programmes offered include:
(a) The Student Mentoring Programme encourages students who are at risk of leaving school early to continue with their studies with the advice of a mentor at a local business. They participate for the final 2 years of school and meet their mentor every 3 weeks at the mentor’s workplace.
(b) The Skills @ Work programme invites employees from local businesses to present, up skill and talk to students about real-life skills required in the workplace, such as interview preparation and CV writing. Students attend site visits and receive first hand insights into the many careers available to them.
(c) The Management Excellence for Principals programme sponsored by Cornmarket Group Financial Services Ltd. facilitates skills sharing between business and school leaders. 564 Principals have participated, which represents over two-thirds of all post primary principals in Ireland. Companies whose senior executives deliver these seminars to small groups of principals include: Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson, Vistakon, Centocor, Donegal Creameries, KPMG, Coillte, National Irish Bank, Diageo, An Post, Anglo Irish Bank, Vhi, élan, One Direct, CRH, Allergan, RTE, Pramerica, Alza, ESB, Intel, The Kerryman, Musgraves, IMI, State Street Global Financial Services, Britvic, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, PEI and IBM.
(e) The Management Excellence for Teachers programme is taking place in 30 schools in Ireland this year. Business leaders provide workshop/seminars to whole teaching staffs on topics identified by the teachers such as: teamwork, communication skills, flexibility skills; PR; time management skills; ICT and education; etc. The Department of Education & Skills fund this programme.
(f) Time to Read programme for primary schools. It provides 2nd class children with the opportunity to receive reading support from a business volunteer. The programme aims to increase the enjoyment of, and confidence in, reading whilst encouraging self-discovery for the participating children. Our programme was piloted in 2010/11 and the evaluation report by Dr. Eithne Kennedy of St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra was recently completed. Time to Read, Ireland’s first business to education reading initiative, has just rolled out nationwide in 15 companies and 15 schools.
Abbott is a global healthcare company devoted to improving life through the development of products and technologies that span the breadth of healthcare. With a portfolio of leading, science-based offerings in diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals and branded generic pharmaceuticals, Abbott serves people in more than 150 countries and employs approximately 70,000 people.
Abbott in Ireland
In Ireland, Abbott employs approximately 3,000 people across 11 sites. Abbott has six manufacturing facilities located in Clonmel, Cootehill, Donegal, Longford and Sligo and a third party manufacturing management operation in Sligo. It has commercial operations in Dublin and shared services in Dublin and Westport. Abbott serves the Irish market with a diverse range of health care products including diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals and branded generic pharmaceuticals. Abbott has been operating in Ireland since 1946.