Eighty ESB employees give their ‘time to read’ in seven primary schools

  • ‘Time to Read’ aims to increase enjoyment and confidence in reading whilst encouraging self-discovery for children
  • ESB’s fifth year to partner with Business in the Community Ireland on the programme

​1 December 2017

Note: Photos of ESB staff with pupils from St Mary’s Girls National School in Fairview are available here. (Credit: Andres Poveda, No Repro Fee)

ESB is proud to partner with Business in the Community Ireland for the fifth year of their Time to Read programme.  Eighty ESB staff are volunteering to read with second class students for 30 minutes each week for 20 weeks.

The programme aims to increase enjoyment and confidence in reading whilst encouraging self-discovery for the children.

With so much focus on education and development in recent years, we often take it for granted that everyone has good literacy skills. The reality, however, is somewhat different. One in 10 children now leave Irish primary school with serious literacy difficulties. In disadvantaged schools, that figure rises to one in three according to data from the Educational Research Centre.

ESB’s participation again this year was marked by an event St Mary’s National School on Windsor Avenue in Fairview (photos here). As part of the programme, the children will visit the local library, and will be welcomed to nearby ESB Head Office on East Wall Road. Four other Dublin schools, as well as a school from Cork and Wexford, are participating:   

•St Kevin’s Boys National School, Barry Avenue, Finglas, Dublin 11.
•St Laurence O’Toole Girls National School, Seville Place, North Wall, Dublin 1.
•St Patrick’s Girls National School, Cambridge Road, Ringsend, Dublin 4.
•Queen of Angels National School, Limes Road, Wedgewood, Dublin 16.
•Glasheen Girls National School, School Avenue, Glasheen, Co. Cork.
•Glenbrien National School, Glenbrien, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford.

 Pat O’Doherty, ESB Chief Executive says: “Literacy is a key building block of life-long learning. The Time to Read initiative exemplifies ESB’s commitment to improving educational outcomes as part of our overall corporate responsibility programme. As a leading Irish employer, we want to see children have the best educational start so that they can reach their full potential. By participation in this programme, our staff are helping to create a society of more equal opportunity, while also laying the foundations for the skills we need in the future.”

Eibhlín McGarry, Principal at St Mary’s Girls National School adds: “We are delighted to welcome our partner volunteers from ESB to work with students from Second Class. The Time to Read initiative not only gives our children the valuable opportunity to improve their reading fluency and comprehension but the warm, caring, positive environment in which the programme is presented opens up a world of interest in and love for reading in the long term.”

Darina Eades of Business In The Community adds: “ESB has been relentless in its commitment to and support of education and learning in primary and secondary schools across Ireland. ESB staff are having a far-reaching impact on developing literacy skills through the Time to Read programme. Of course, Time to Read relies on the human connection that is so intrinsically vital to the development of young people. Business in the Community Ireland is focused on supporting companies to always consider the long term view. ESB has taken a leadership role in engaging its staff, continually supporting them to volunteer and get involved with 12 schools across Ireland to make a significant, positive impact, year after year.”

ENDS/