Dermot Bannon brings his light and life into St. Joseph’s JNS, Ballymun as he champions the Reading Recovery programme


As part of the International Read Aloud campaign, events are taking place across Ireland to increase awareness of children who struggle to read and to ensure they get the attention they need.  St. Joseph’s JNS, Ballymun, Dublin has joined forces with the UCL European Centre for Reading Recovery to participate in the exciting event.


To encourage and recognise children’s commitment, the campaign has been joined by a host of celebrities who will watch and respond to children reading to them live on the internet or in their schools. Some of the celebrities involved in this event are Gillian Anderson and astronaut Colonel Chris Hadfield.  


Reading Recovery, a programme funded by the Department of Education and implemented in many schools across the country, helps children who have had serious reading difficulties catch up  with their classmates. The Read Aloud campaign will be fun and allow children to show the newly gained reading abilities in a host of inspiring ways across the country.


Each year approximately 20% of children leave primary school not being able to adequately read.  For over ten years Reading Recovery in Ireland has helped thousands of children with complex literacy difficulties learn how to read.  Research has shown that over 93% of six year old children who complete an 18 week Reading Recovery programme, progress from being the lowest achievers in their class to catching up with their peers.


Julia Douetil, Director of the European Reading Recovery programme said: it means so much to children to be able to read confidently.  Reading Recovery children have overcome such great hurdles to be able to do what they are doing today.  And it matters!  Not being able to read well at the end of primary school has dire consequences for a child’s future’.


This is the second annual Read Aloud campaign and it is intended to continue with the annual events to celebrate the achievements of early readers who have undertaken a Reading Recovery programme.


International evidence shows a link between low pay, unemployment and poor literacy skills.  Not being able to read well can be a sentence of poverty that can last a lifetime.


The Reading Recovery programme has demonstrated how children can be helped to become successful readers.  It is the single most successful early literacy intervention programme to be supported by the Department of Education and the PDST (Professional Development Services for Teachers). Read Aloud will celebrate the success of children in overcoming their difficulties to become better readers. 

 In St. Joseph’s Junior National School, Ballymun children who have achieved great success with the Reading Recovery programme read their favourite book to esteemed architect and TV personality Dermot Bannon, who visited the school on February 29th (today).  The principal (Jenny McGee) and her enthusiastic staff are committed to raising literacy standards for all children in the school. ‘The Reading Recovery Programme is making a visible difference in children’s lives,’ she said. Reading Recovery Teacher Eileen Coady observed that ‘the children’s confidence had really improved, because they are now successful readers. Dermot’s visit was a huge boost to the whole school community.’


Dermot Bannon said: I am absolutely thrilled to be part of the Reading Recovery Read Aloud as reading opens doors for children. It is so important that all children are helped to learn to read and write as quickly as possible.'  Referring to his own family he said ' Reading brings such joy to my own children and I'm amazed at how quickly they can learn at a young age given the right tools and guidance'. 

February 2016