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Right to Read campaign

Posted on November 12, 2007 at 11:06 AM

Cllr O'Riordain - Writing to Local Authorities all over the country about his Right to Read campaign
Writing to Local Authorities all over the country about his Right to Read campaign

During his term as Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Aodhan O'Riordain initiated a campaign to tackle educational disadvantage and eradicating illiteracy in the community, the Right to Read campaign.

Cllr O'Riordain, a primary school teacher, said: "Research shows that 30 per cent of children in deprived areas have basic reading problems. Many of these children live in overcrowded council accommodation, in an area without a library service and come from communities where access to formal education has been limited through the generations.

"Since I began teaching in the North Inner City in March 2000, it has become clear to me that the Council needs to take responsibility for this problem.

"No longer can we stand over a housing crisis that limits the capacity for children to learn in the home. No longer can we accept an under-resourced library service that closes its doors at evening times and weekends in the poorest of our communities.

"Our local authorities can make a difference by opening our libraries longer, establishing homework clubs in communities, improving housing policy and initiating literacy programmes for parents and families."

Cllr O'Riordain's Right to Read campaign has made great strides in Dublin City Council to make our literary city a literate city. "I really hope other councils can also back the principles of the Right to Read campaign," Cllr O'Riordain said.

The Right to Read Campaign has developed a children's story highlighting some of the problems that cause reading difficulty which you can download here. So far 20,000 books have been produced and sent to homes all over Limerick and Dublin. Investment of €1m was secured for Dublin City Libraries which are now open six days a week for the first time, while Learning Zones have been established into all libraries. Next year Dublin City Council is to begin a series of literacy-based courses for young people throughout the library service.

Cllr O'Riordain is hoping other local authorities will take up the campaign and has written to them seeking their support. You can find out more here on the Right to Read website. What can you do? Well you can write or email your local council representative and ask them to support the campaign and you can sign up to the campaign on the website to show your support. You can find out more at the Right to Read website.

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