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March 1, 2021

This year, World Book Day has been preceded in Ireland by a new government initiative, “Ireland Reads” which took place last Thursday 25 February. This is part of the Government’s ‘Keep Well’ campaign and is a public library initiative, in partnership with publishers, booksellers, authors and others.

Ireland Reads encourages young and old to “Squeeze in a Read” and pledge time to reading on the day, over 855,000 minutes of reading across the country was recorded on the day.

President Michael D Higgins, in his message of support for the initiative, spoke eloquently about Ireland Reads, ”It encourages everyone to re-discover, or perhaps even discover for the first time, the joy of reading for enjoyment and the wellbeing it guarantees. The initiative helps us all to combat so-called” “lockdown fatigue” by encouraging us to reacquaint ourselves with the wonders of literature and the pleasures of reading”. Click here to watch the entire message from President Higgins

Many educators enjoy reading books as a means of relaxation and are passionate about sharing their love of reading with young children. Sharing their passion often ignites interest and joy in reading for children, laying the foundations for a future love of reading that will last throughout their lifetime.

While “Storytime” is part of the daily routine in early years settings, World Book Day (4 March 2021) provides us with an opportunity to revisit the many benefits reading with young children has on their wellbeing and development. Dr Mary Roche, in this Early Childhood Ireland blog reminds us why books and stories are important  in the early years”  :

In this blog, the LINC team briefly outline the importance of book for young children, and the MIC Library Staffs’ share their recommendations for the top 5 children’s books in both  Irish and English. 

For some families, books may not be a priority and the World Book Day tokens aim to ensure that every child can have a free book of their own.  See here for more information.  

World Book Day also provides an opportunity to share ideas for “remote” Storytime during these days of restrictions. Early Childhood Ireland member, Helen Dowling, from Kids Start Preschool, kindly shared with us how she does this:

 Over the last few weeks of lockdown, I started recording stories for the children in my service. They were so popular that I set up a YouTube Channel for them. By subscribing to the Channel parents are notified when a new story is put up.

Click here to view Helen’s collection of stories.

Don’t forget to check out resources at your local library – information for you and for parents about borrowing e-books, audio books and for news of online events. You can find details of your local library here

For more information on the Keep Well Campaign click here

Do continue to relax with a book whenever you have time and remind yourself of the love and joy of reading you instill every time you read to a child.


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