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The PDST ‘Wellread National Award’ is a national initiative designed and organised by the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST). It aims to create heightened awareness about the importance of creating a culture of reading in school communities for our young people as part of their personal and academic development. The PDST ‘Wellread National Award’ is an initiative that seeks to involve all relevant stakeholders who impact on student learning including students, teachers, ancillary staff, parents and wider community in a range of reading and associated activities. It is envisaged that a national award will explicitly foster and nurture a reading culture in schools.

From 2015-2016, Ms O’Connell established a committee at Loreto Abbey Dalkey to initiate our school’s application process for the PDST 'Wellread National Award'. Members of the student book clubs, English teachers and the school’s librarians, Ms Tracey and Ms Drexler, worked together to create activities and initiatives to promote and foster a love of reading. “Reading for enjoyment” was at the heart of our application. Many activities were organised in school – from World Book Day celebrations, Junior and Senior Book Clubs, Creative Writing Clubs, Blind Date with a Book etc. – as well as linked initiatives to foster a love of reading outside of the classroom, e.g. recommended reading lists emailed to both students and parents, the New Year’s Reading Challenge and trips to local libraries. All our efforts were compiled in an online portfolio which was submitted to the PDST in May 2016.

It was with great pride and pleasure that Ms O'Connell, Ms Boland, Athena Koumarianos, Ella Tubridy, Orlagh Allen and Daria Vecchio represented the school at The Wellread National Awards on 12th of October in Citywest Hotel. Our school was one of thirty nationally to be awarded for our work in improving literacy and love of reading. Loreto Abbey Dalkey received a certificate and a school flag in acknowledgement of our literacy efforts.

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(c) 2016 Loreto Abbey Secondary School