Education news

Award-winning critical literacy project returns

EY and Ulster Bank join forces with CBI NI to support The Irish News critical media literacy initiative in partnership with St Mary's University College. Pictured are Michael Hall (EY), Karen Hoey (CBI), Prof Peter Finn (St Mary's), Annette Kelly (Little Penny Thoughts) and Terry Robb (Ulster Bank)

AN award-winning critical literacy project from The Irish News and St Mary's University College is returning to challenge the knowledge and understanding of young readers.

Pupils in Key Staged 2 and 3 are being offered eight weeks of activities that also introduce them to newspapers.

About 9,000 pupils took part in Young News Readers last year. In 2021, the project is welcoming new supporters.

"We are delighted to welcome Ulster Bank and EY, who join CBI NI in promoting our critical media literacy project that we run with our partners St Mary's University College," said The Irish News marketing manager John Brolly.

"The Irish News Young News Readers initiative has been widely adopted by teachers as an excellent way of developing literacy levels in children by introducing them to the world around them using trusted news sources.

"We have seen Marcus Rashford turning his focus to improving literacy levels in children across all backgrounds by introducing them to the `escapism of reading'. Marcus said he only started reading at 17 and that it completely changed his outlook and mentality. We need to nourish our children's interest in reading through developing their literacy skills."

St Mary's Principal Prof Peter Finn said when the project was launched at St Louise's Comprehensive College in January "who would have imagined what was ahead of us".

"Since March, the news has been dominated by the global pandemic and that will most likely continue to be the case in the year ahead," he said.

"In that context, The Irish News School Edition will provide opportunities for pupils to use critical media literacy skills to better interrogate the information that we are receiving about the impact of the pandemic on all aspects of our lives. The project itself is growing year on year with more schools, more pupils and new partners involved."

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