Ireland Reads is a new campaign to get the whole country reading this month in the lead up to a national day of reading tomorrow (Thursday). Kerry Library has teamed up with libraries nationwide and some local authors for the campaign, which is part of the Government’s ‘Keep Well’ initiative and aims to celebrate reading and all the benefits it can have for well-being and enjoyment.
The campaign is asking everyone to ‘squeeze in a read’ on Ireland Reads Day, and a dedicated website www.irelandreads.ie has been set up where people can pledge to read on the day.
The website also offers book recommendations suited to a person’s interests and the time they have available. There are more than 800 recommendations from librarians all around the country.
A website user can simply enter their favourite type of book and how long they would like to read each day and in return get a suitable book suggestion and with an estimate of how long it will take to read – a ‘Couch to 5k’ for books!
Here’s just some of what is planned at Kerry Library www.kerrylibrary.ie:
· Book clubs go online: Kerry Library is delighted to be able to facilitate online book club meetings and your book club can get involved from the comfort of home by simply downloading an e-book or e-audio book from Borrow Box and starting to read! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help.
· ‘Squeeze in a Read’: To celebrate the Ireland Reads campaign library staff have pledged to read extracts from their favourite books.
· Get to know a local author: Up and coming author Emma Larkin has recently published two wonderful books for children – Izzy’s Adventure series. The theme of the books is to encourage girls to play sport while also having a fun magical element. Catch up with Emma on the library Facebook page as she chats about her love of books, writing and libraries.
· Éire ag léamh : Join library staff tomorrow for children’s storytime as Gaeilge – ag léamh as Cosc ar Chrogaill! le Heather Pindar.
· Pledge to read a paper: Not in the mood for a book or just don’t have time at the moment? No problem! Why not take some time out to read a newspaper or magazine instead. The Kerry library website provides free member access to thousands of the world’s most popular newspapers and magazines. If you need help just go to the library Facebook page for a step by step tutorial to help get you started.
A number of well-known campaign ambassadors from the worlds of writing, science, sport, health and broadcasting are on board to help promote the campaign and you can find out what reading means to them and why they support the campaign at www.irelandreads.ie.
Patrick O’Connor Scarteen, Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council is urging the people of Kerry to join the initiative and is asking that during this month to “please pledge to take some reading time for yourself or to share with family and look up the Kerry Library website to see the wide range of resources that are available free of charge”.
“Libraries may be closed at present but their excellent online services are still available,” he said.
Kerry County Librarian, Tommy O’Connor, in support of the campaign says that ‘it doesn’t matter whether you’re an avid reader, a reluctant reader, a lapsed reader or a new reader but to use Ireland Reads Day to use some of the available library online sources.
“Right now, many of the activities we used to take for granted are not available to us, but you can always enjoy a good book, newspaper or magazine,” he said.
Kerry Library provides e-books, e-audio, e-newspapers, e-magazines, e-learning courses, e-languages and e-comics on its website www.kerrylibrary.ie.
Find out about all that is happening for Ireland Reads, get book recommendations and take the pledge to read at www.irelandreads.ie.
Possible return to campus for college students
By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors
The announcement by the Department of Education this week, that the Leaving Cert results will be issued on Friday, September 3, was followed by confirmation from the Central Applications Office that CAO Round 1 offers will be issued online, four days later on Tuesday, September 7 at 2pm.
This is about three weeks later than normal, although it is earlier than the 2020 dates. Coinciding with the release of these dates comes the news from Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris, that it is the priority of Government to get college students back on campus for the 2021/2022 academic year. Because of the later issue of Leaving Cert results and CAO offers, this means that First Year students will start college a couple of weeks later than those who are returning to college in Second, Third and Fourth Year.
From the point of social distancing, the staggered start may be an advantage, as we will still be living with certain restrictions due to COVID-19. There are a number of contributing factors what will influence a safe and successful return to the college campus for students according to Minister Harris. They include the roll-out and take-up of vaccinations in the college-age cohort by September, the use of rapid testing on campus which has been run as a pilot in several universities this year, and a varied approach to face-to-face lectures. It is hoped that smaller classes, practicals and tutorials can be operated as before with social distancing while the larger lectures may need to be facilitated using a blended approach. It is also felt that if cafés, restaurants and bars are open everywhere else, there is no reason why they can’t open on campus. This of course is all based on vaccinations and public health guidelines.
A big concern for First Year students following the announcements is the fact that they will be looking for accommodation later than all other students. This is an issue every single year because when CAO offers are issued, many students get offers for colleges in locations where they have not secured accommodation. Naturally it is of particular concern to rural students and mirrors a greater societal shortage of accommodation. Minister Harris has also stated that he is bringing a proposal to Cabinet in the coming weeks to implement legislation which means that the owners of purpose-built student accommodation will only be allowed to charge rents a month in advance rather than insisting on payment of rent for half of the college year, something which has put enormous strain on students and their families over the years.
So, while any kind of certainty surrounding a return to ‘normal’ college life isn’t possible, it is both hopeful and exciting for new and returning college students to be able to look forward to the next college year with the prospect of getting to enjoy a real college experience and all that has to offer.
I will be hosting a free webinar for Leaving Cert parents on June 16 at 7pm on ‘How to help your son/daughter with CAO Change of Mind and other career options’ ahead of the CAO deadline on July 1.
To register see links on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram: @mycareerplan or email me on email@example.com.
Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, and Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She is also a Career Consultant. For details see www.mycareerplan.ie or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Deadline for health and well-being fest fast approaching
Friday June 25, the closing date to register an interest in hosting an activity or event during the 2021 Kerry Mental Health and Well-being Fest, is fast approaching. This year’s #KerryMHWFest will run from October 9 to 16. It is held annually to highlight World Mental Health Day on October 10. Organised by an interagency […]
Friday June 25, the closing date to register an interest in hosting an activity or event during the 2021 Kerry Mental Health and Well-being Fest, is fast approaching.
This year’s #KerryMHWFest will run from October 9 to 16. It is held annually to highlight World Mental Health Day on October 10.
Organised by an interagency steering group, the key focus of the Kerry Mental Health and Well-being Fest is to promote mental health and well-being in Kerry through a fun and interactive programme of events.
“The Kerry Mental Health and Well-being Fest aims to create awareness of, and schedule events that empower people to engage with the Five Ways to Well-being – Connect | Give | Take Notice | Keep Learning | Be Active – as well as raising awareness of the available supports and services in the county,” Chair of the Steering Committee, Donagh Hennebry, said.
“The Fest has a wide reach across Kerry and we want to continue to build on its success in 2021. But we can’t do this without you! We are inviting anyone who is interested in helping us achieve our goal, by hosting an event(s) during #KerryMHWFest, to register online as soon as possible.”
The organising committee is a collaboration between Connecting for Life Kerry, Healthy Kerry, Kerry County Council, the HSE, NEWKD, SKDP, Kerry Mental Health Association, Jigsaw Kerry, Munster Technological University/Kerry, and Kerry Volunteer Centre.
To register your interest to host an event for the 2021 Kerry Mental Health and Well-being Fest, visit www.healthykerry.ie before close of business on Friday, June 25.
For more information about registration, promotion, or the Fest in general, please contact the interagency steering group at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free and subsidised higher education courses for Kerry
11 free and subsidised higher education places have been announced for Kerry under the Springboard+ 2021 and Human Capital Initiative (HCI) Pillar 1 initiatives. The courses, which open for applications today (Wednesday), will run at Munster Technological University Kerry. The courses on offer include a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy Management & Practice, a Certificate in […]
11 free and subsidised higher education places have been announced for Kerry under the Springboard+ 2021 and Human Capital Initiative (HCI) Pillar 1 initiatives. The courses, which open for applications today (Wednesday), will run at Munster Technological University Kerry.
The courses on offer include a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy Management & Practice, a Certificate in Retail Food Service Operations and a Postgraduate Diploma in Bioeconomy with Business.
Over 10,000 places are available across both programmes nationwide in 2021.
Springboard+ provides free courses for people who are unemployed, people who have taken time out of work or education to raise their families or care for loved ones, or people who want to upskill. Now in its 10th year, over 75,000 people have benefited from Springboard+ to date.
Courses under the HCI Pillar 1 programme are aimed at graduates and offer incentivised places for them to reskill in areas of skills shortage and emerging technologies. These are being run alongside, and complementary to, the Springboard+ offerings.
For those in employment, the Government will fund 90% of the cost of a Springboard+ or HCI Pillar 1 course. The programmes are managed by the Higher Education Authority on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills.
Launching the programme, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, TD said, “As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, we will need to ensure that people have the skills they need”.
Candidates who wish to participate will find full details on the approved courses on www.springboardcourses.ie. Experienced guidance counsellors will be available to advise potential Springboard+ and HCI Pillar 1 participants on their options on the freephone Springboard+ helpline: 1800 303 523. The helpline is open from 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday.
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