Cork County Council’s Library and Arts Services have successfully secured €24,491 from the Dormant Accounts Fund. This fund has a specific focus on supporting members of the community in marginalised groups, those with disabilities and people living in Direct Provision. The fund was announced by Minister Heather Humphreys (Minister for Community and Rural Development and the Islands) and Minister Joe O'Brien (Minister of State for Community Development and Charities) as part of a €713,500 Funding for Library Supports around the country.
The Council’s ‘NEWStart’ Programme has benefited from this funding. This programme aims to help those with low literacy levels, learning differences, visual or hearing impairments as well as those from disadvantaged groups. The programme also develops and supports literacy, numeracy and fine motor skills.
Monies from the fund will be used to purchase literacy and numeracy digital skills licenses and Apps. ‘NEWStart’ packs including a numeracy, early literacy and writing resource and an information booklet will also be made available for parents. The packs will include a branded notebook for children to write and draw in and will also provide access details to a Digital Literacy Software Resource. Accompanying all this there will be support videos by partner occupational therapy professionals, storytime tutorials and sessions and simple home crafts and activities providing extra support.
Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr Mary Linehan Foley welcomed the funding saying,
“Securing this funding will help Cork County Council’s Library and Arts Service provide another fantastic resource for members of our community. The ‘NEWStart’ programme is a great initiative to help people develop skills that will help them throughout their lives. These recourses can be expensive for individuals to purchase so to be able to provide this support is superb.”
Emer O’Brien, Cork County Council’s County Librarian added,
“The feedback from schools and families is that children lost a lot of momentum with their reading during lockdown. Now having returned to school under different circumstances, this pack is aimed at supporting families of children with dyslexia or dyspraxia or those who need some help with their reading and writing. This is a simple way for parents to supplement the work done at school and to make reading, numeracy and writing part of everyday life at home in a fun way.”