Northern Ireland news

The Irish News launches school edition to improve literacy skills

Launching the new school edition of the Irish News at print centre Interpress for the Irish News Young News Readers project are Marketing Manager John Brolly, Donna Hazzard and Peter Finn (St Mary’s University College Belfast) and Irish News Managing Director Dominic Fitzpatrick with Aquinas Diocesan Grammar School and Good Shepherd P.S. pupils.
Nadia Breen

The Irish News is producing its first school edition for a creative literacy project.

'Young Newsreaders' has already helped thousands of children improve their literacy through exploring newspapers in an interactive way.

The students will receive their very own copy of the new edition, delivered weekly for them to improve their reading, writing, talking and listening skills.

The project was created by St Mary's University College in collaboration with The Irish News and supported by CBI, who are the UK's most effective and influential business organisation, as well as Reach Stationary.

At the launch on yesterday, schools were invited to Interpress in Belfast, for a tour on how The Irish News is produced.

The initiative will bring up to eight invigorating weeks of activities that offer a different way to challenge the knowledge and understanding of young readers.

John Brolly, Marketing Manager said: "The Irish News is delighted to be publishing our first school edition for use in our award winning Young News Readers project.

"It is a significant investment in the literacy of our young people but with over 4,000 children already signed up it offers schools a great opportunity to engage with a unique learning through the news in the classroom initiative.

"Our special school edition offers students a range of content from food, travel, business as well as local and international news."

It will allow children the opportunity to read a wider range of materials, helping them to develop their inferential knowledge and deduction skills.

Students will learn what makes a story, what a headline is and what makes the news.

Professor Peter Finn, principal of St Mary's University College said: "Critical literacy encourages young readers in both primary and post-primary schools to actively study texts. It assists young readers in better understanding the local, regional, national and international news they receive from a variety of media sources.

"In an era of change and uncertainty, for example the issue of Brexit, The Irish News has established a collaborative partnership that provides teachers and their pupils with a rich learning resource to further develop critical literacy skills."

Angela McGeown, Director of CBI NI, said critical reading is an important part of a child's development.

She added: "CBI NI is delighted to support The Irish News literacy project for young children. This experience works to support a child's analytical and evaluation skills – both of which are highly valued in the world of work.

"Our support for this project chimes well with the CBI's support for breakfast clubs in disadvantaged areas. The business community is well aware that investing in our young people today pays huge dividends when it comes to the future economy."

The content of this paper will be child-friendly to ensure everyone can fully engage with the project. Successful candidates will receive a personalised certificate of achievement.

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