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Children’s Books Ireland

Registered Charity Number: 20038922

About the charity

Children’s Books Ireland’s work aims to inspire and enable children and young people to become readers for life. We support authors and illustrators and we inform families, teachers, booksellers, librarians, publishers and other adults who influence children and young people’s reading.

Project name

To support the expansion of the Children’s Books Ireland Book of the Year Awards Shadowing Scheme

Project overview

In 2020, the Children’s Books Ireland Book of the Year Awards celebrates its 30th anniversary. To mark this, we want to expand the associated shadowing scheme, particularly targeting senior primary school students in 20 additional schools per year for three years across Northern Ireland and the Republic.

The shadowing scheme is a unique programme that encourages children to read widely and to vote in the Children’s Choice Award. Research shows that children who read for pleasure tend to be more absorbed in school, have better academic skills and improved wellbeing. Expanding the scheme would provide children with shortlisted books, specially designed activity packs and author/illustrator visits, enabling more children to discover the joy of reading and all its benefits. Increasing the number of children participating over the next three years will help develop longer-term engagement and enjoyment in reading for pleasure as well as developing skills such as debating, critical thinking and visual literacy.

How the £50,000 grant will help

The funding would enable us to extend our reach to an additional 20 schools each year for a three year period. Assuming 25 students per class and three classes per school would benefit, this project would benefit a minimum 1,500 students per year and 4,500 students over a three year period. It would allow us to bring an administrator to the project who could devote time to gauging the impact of the scheme through before and after surveys and gathering testimonials; this evidence is crucial both in assessing the effectiveness of our work and garnering future support in order to make the awards and shadowing scheme sustainable.


“Next year will mark the 30th anniversary of our Book of the Year Awards, and the grant from Ecclesiastical is transformational. Winning this fund enables Children’s Books Ireland to continue on our mission to make books central to every child’s life, and will have a profound, positive impact on the lives of thousands of children all over Ireland.”
Elaina Ryan, Children’s Books Ireland

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