“A book is a dream you hold in your hands” – Neil Gaiman WordPower is coming to an end of its first year running as an initiative in the East Region of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul.
WordPower has been distributing books to families and children during home visitations since September 2018. A lot of progress has been made in that time.
Reading from a young age provides many benefits to children; such as helping to develop a child’s imagination, neurological, and linguistic skills, providing the child with a chance at early academic success, improving the child’s concentration level, growing the child’s self-confidence and independence, igniting the child’s creativity, and developing the social bond between parent and child.
WordPower has been a great success across the 70 participating Conferences in Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow. Altogether, approximately 3,054 children have received brand new books through WordPower, with a total of 1,493 book packs having been distributed to families. The feedback from the Conference members and from the families has proven that this scheme is vital to many young children.
“As well as the educational benefit I feel there are additional benefits derived by the clients. The delivery of the books brings some happiness into their lives such as the joy of receiving gifts, the realization that somebody cares for them, and the excitement of what the bags contain. Keep up the good work.” - Thomas Nugent; Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Firhouse
World Book Day took place on the 7th March 2019. This event was an opportunity to promote WordPower. A video was put together as part of a campaign to explain what WordPower is. A fundraising page was set up where people could buy book tokens costing €50. The money raised was used to purchase books and supplies for the scheme.
In May 2019, WordPower became a charity partner of Scholastic books. When parents buy books on Scholastic’s website, they can choose to donate 20% in free books to a school of their choice, or to Scholastic’s charity partner. This is free of charge to both the parents and the supported charity. They can then use the donations to order books on Scholastic’s website. So far, over €1,200 worth of books has been donated to WordPower through Scholastic’s website. This wonderful opportunity has allowed us to continuously replenish our stock of books.
The future of WordPower is looking very hopeful. Throughout the next month an evaluation on the first year of the scheme will be put together. This will include statistics, detailed feedback, the story of WordPower so far and any proposed changes for the upcoming months.
Our main aim for the future is to provide parents with some help on reading with children. We plan to introduce a Guidance Leaflet to the book packs which will contain support on how to read with children, information on joining the library, and practical additional resources that parents/guardians can use if they wish to do so. It is our hope that this Leaflet will support parents in helping improve their child’s literacy skills.
We would love to keep expanding WordPower by promoting the scheme to more Conferences in the East Region.
If you would like to find out how to request books for your Conference, or if you would like to make a donation to WordPower, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (01)8198430.