National Year of Reading 2008

18 December 2007

St Mary's University College is committed to the objectives of the National Year of Reading 2008 and has planned a programme of activities which are outlined below:

1) 30 January 2008: USA Professor

St Mary's is pleased to welcome Trinka Messenheimer, Director of the Reading Centre and Associate Professor at Bowling Green State University, Ohio. On 30th January Trinka will be leading a Twilight Session for local teachers on practices to develop and promote independent reading. During her visit she will undertake a variety of planned workshops and discussion sessions with St Mary's students.

2) 16 April 2008: Twilight Session

A key event to celebrate National Year of Reading 2008 is a Twilight Session on April 16th entitled "Becoming an Independent Reader". The event is planned for teachers and others with an interest in literacy teaching. St Mary's in association with UKLA are delighted to welcome guest speakers Prue Goodwin and Oisin McCann.

Prue is an expert in children's literature and an inspirational speaker. She lectures at The University of Reading, works as a Publishing Consultant and is Editor of "The Literate Classroom", "The Articulate Classroom", "Literacy through Creativity" and "Understanding Children's Books".

Oisin, a renowned children's author and entertaining speaker will be sharing his knowledge of writing stories and will sign books.

3) Supporting schools in implementing Literature Circles

As part of our celebration of National Year of Reading, Donna Murray is supporting teachers to implement Literature Circles within schools. The Literature Circles approach to teaching reading emphasises enjoyment and encourages pupils to have open, natural conversations about books. The following schools are taking part:

  • Brownlow College, Craigavon
  • Clonalig Primary School, Crossmaglen
  • St Comgall's Primary School, Bangor
  • St Dallan's Primary School, Warrenpoint
  • Holy Family Primary School, Belfast
  • Glenveagh Special School, Belfast

4) Catherine Gilliland is planning and overseeing a student book fair.

5) Donna Murray is working with a teacher in Dromintee Primary School to pilot a media literacy programme with Key Stage 1 using moving image story shorts.

6) The 2007/8 Volunteer Reading Tutor Programme is well underway with a total of twenty five BEd3 and 4 students working voluntarily with low progress readers in eight local primary schools.

7) All of our students from BEd1 to BEd4 will be asked to undertake an event to celebrate National Year of Reading in their host school during their 2008 School Experience.

8) To give those involved in all of the above events a voice, a "Celebrating Reading" podcast will be available on the College website later in the year.

For further information contact:

Donna Murray Tel: 02890 268242 or

Catherine Gilliland Tel: 02890 268218.

< back to News Archive