THE new Thomond Community College will be the only school in the region with a full-time Junior Cert School Programme librarian and one of only 30 such libraries in the country under the JCSP Demonstration Library Project.
Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan, who officially opened the library this Friday, told students it was “an excellent project and one that will make a difference to your education”.
Kathleen Moran, senior project librarian with JCSP revealed that initial research on the programme showed that the libraries improved reading levels among students, as well as boosting attendance, retention to senior cycle, motivation and engagement with the curriculum.
A recent study completed at one of the country’s JCSP libraries revealed that the number of Junior Certificate students taking higher level English had grown from 15 per cent in 2009 to 32 per cent in 2013.
“We know that reading success has one of the most profound impacts on an individual’s future. Successful readers are more successful in virtually every other social and economic aspect of their lives, as children and as adults. Within the school environment, we know that learning to read and achievement in literacy deeply shapes a young person’s overall educational experience,” she said.
The college will open its doors officially in September next year when the amalgamation of Salesian Secondary School and St Nessan’s Community College is finalised.
However the library is already up and running at the St Nessan’s campus at Moylish, where many first years that would otherwise have gone to the Salesians have started at St Nessan’s this year.
The library extension was commissioned following the agreement to transfer the JCSP librarian from St Enda’s Community School, which closed recently.
Thomond Community College was successful in its bid to host the library over a number of other Limerick schools that bid for the facility.
JCSP library activities include supported project work, group reading using class sets of books, educational games, building robots, and rap workshops.