Ireland suffers from a sizeable literacy achievement gap between children in low and high socio-economic status communities. Research by the Educational Research Centre shows that almost 1 in 5 children in disadvantaged schools leave primary school reading at or below the 10th percentile of standardises tests of reading achievement. At this level, a child would not only struggle with post-primary textbooks but also with simple everyday tasks.
Since 2012, Write to Read has worked with teachers in some of Ireland’s most disadvantaged communities to narrow this achievement gap and to support children to develop as readers, writers, thinkers and bring standardised reading test scores in line with national norms.
Led by Dr Eithne Kennedy of DCU’s Institute of Education, Write to Read provides professional development to support teachers to introduce a balanced literacy framework in the classroom, based around core writing and reading workshops.
From 2012 to 2019, Write to Read worked with over 330 teachers in 13 DEIS schools in Dublin 1, 8 and 17, impacting on over 2,800 children. Since 2020, Write to Read has continued its work to end the educational divide in Irish primary schools and has now expanded to offer a new model of professional development that is accessible to all 685+ DEIS schools across Ireland.
Write to Read is currently supported in its work by The Quinn Family Foundation, Deutsche Bank, The Community Foundation for Ireland – RTE does Comic Relief, The Teachers Study Group, Brien Press and Gill Books.
Click here to read why Stephen Brett, a teacher in our Lady of the Wayside in Bluebell, Dublin 12 has taken part in Write to Read for the past few years.