TAP Bookmarks Programme, Encouraging Children to Create their Own Books, Launched in TCD

Posted on: 27 January 2010

Trinity College Dublin welcomed students from three Dublin primary schools for the launch of the annual Bookmarks Programme in Trinity College Dublin this week.  The programme, which aims to encourage children to create their own adventure stories and make their own books, is organised by the Trinity Access Programmes (TAP) in collaboration with The Ark, A Cultural Centre for Children.

The Bookmarks Programme, which involves 5th and 6th class students from primary schools designated as disadvantaged, engages the children in a series of workshops during which the children become authors, illustrators and publishers of their own handmade books.   The schools are linked to the College through the Trinity Access Programmes (TAP) which offers support to students from under represented backgrounds to progress to higher education.  This year the schools include Scoil Mhuire, Blakestown, Drimnagh Castle Boys School and Our Lady of Good Counsel Girls School also in Drimnagh. 

Students from Scoil Mhuire in Blakestown look at a book from the Pollard Collection with Kathryn Norris from the Library in TCD.

During the launch the children were introduced to staff from TAP and The Ark and spent some time exploring the Trinity campus.  Members of staff from both the School of English and the library at Trinity College spoke to the students about children’s literature and introduced them to the Pollard Collection, a collection of over 10,000 historic children’s books spanning three centuries.  It is hoped this collection of children’s literature will act as a stimulus for their creativity and as a means of learning about their own literary and cultural heritage.      

Over the course of the next three months the children will attend a series of workshops on story writing, illustration and bookbinding delivered by Ark artists, Liz Smith and Laura de Búrca.  These artists will also visit the three participating schools during February and March to to encourage the children to explore their own creativity when making their own books.

The Bookmarks programme will culminate with an awards ceremony and an exhibition of the children’s handmade books will be on view in the Long Room of Trinity College between March 24th and 31st next.