It’s December already, the Christmas lights are going up, and as the holiday period approaches our thoughts turn to friends and family. In the arts, as always, there is so much to experience, from seasonal dance, theatre and music productions, to exhibitions of great work, to people everywhere getting involved in choirs and local trad sessions.
But there is one group of people I want to pay special attention to this December: children. We are launching a campaign this Christmas urging parents to take the time to read and share stories with their children.
We know from a recent survey that two out of five Irish parents don’t read to their children – and that half of all parents want to spend more time reading with their children. From our research with the ESRI, we also know that children who read or are read to by their parents are happier, more self-confident, and do better in school.
And, of course, we have the stories -- in abundance! In Ireland we have some of the most wonderful stories for children in the world, in both Irish and English. We in the Arts Council are particularly proud of our Laureates na n-Óg whose books have done so much to open up the imaginations of so many children.
So this year, we want to encourage everyone to do a little more. We’ll be joined by some very familiar faces, so keep an eye on our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds, and this Christmas tell everyone…
Cuir Scéal ina Stoca -- Put a Story in their Stocking!