Clare Libraries has begun a new inclusive arts and education programme with local primary schools entitled ‘World of Welcome’.
The programme consists of a five-week course that encourages children to celebrate diversity through the arts. Pupils will visit their nearest library branch each Monday to attend interactive workshops with arts practitioners, where they will explore the topics of diversity and inclusion through puppetry, drama, music, creative writing, and podcasting.
Arts practitioners include children’s author Debbie Thomas, musician Niamh O’Brien, podcaster Oisín O Cualáin, puppeteer Sarah Fuller, and actor and theatre maker Zara Starr.
The participating schools are Flagmount National School in Caher, Doonaha National School in Kilkee, Ennis Educate Together National School, St. Conaire’s National School in Shannon, and Ballyvaughan National School.
All participating students will come together for a special celebration in glór, Ennis on Wednesday 19th October, where storyteller Niall de Búrca promises to deliver a “hooley of tales” guaranteed to captivate his young audience.
Speaking at the launch of the programme, Children’s Services Librarian, Patricia Fitzgerald said: “Clare Libraries offers support to schools throughout the academic year through the provision of books, learning resources and literacy interventions. We are delighted to be able to develop this unique programme to welcome our growing, culturally diverse community.”
Patricia also added, “We hope this programme will extend an extra special welcome to the youngest members of our new Ukrainian community, helping them to build friendships, confidence and integrate with their peers.”
Speaking after the launch, Clare County Librarian, Helen Walsh said: “This project utilises the role of the library as a welcoming space that will allow the children involved to learn about inclusivity and diversity through the arts in a non-formal setting. It is a valuable addition to our existing literacy and well-being programmes that are part of the National Right to Read and Healthy Ireland initiatives. ”
The World of Welcome programme is funded by the Dormant Accounts Fund. This fund has enabled Clare Libraries to invest in a wide range of sensory and literacy supports in recent years to meet the needs of the most vulnerable library users. Other resources that will be added to the service this year include a digital library of multi-lingual picture books in over 50 languages, including Ukrainian, and a children’s typing course for Dyslexic readers.
For more information about World of Welcome and any other programmes provided by Clare Libraries, contact email@example.com or phone (065) 6846350.