Galway literacy plan linked to ocean race


YOUNG STUDENTS and adults in Galway have been invited to read one particular book this month as part of a literacy initiative linked to next year’s return of the Volvo Ocean Race to the west coast.

In keeping with the Volvo race’s round-world theme, the One Book, One City project has selected Michael Morpurgo’s Kensuke’s Kingdom for the initiative, which aims to promote literacy skills and a love of reading at home, in school and in the community.

Morpurgo’s award-winning children’s novel, first published in 1999, has been described as a “magical Crusoe-esque desert island adventure story with a poignant exploration of the growth of friendship and trust”.

It relates the fortunes of a boy and his dog who survive on a Pacific island after they are washed overboard their family boat.

Galway is hosting the Volvo Ocean Race for a second time, following its success in securing a stopover for the first time in Ireland in 2009. The global circumnavigation, which is already underway, finishes on the west coast in early July 2012.

Ten primary and secondary home school community liaison co-ordinators are running the book project this month with the support of Galway city libraries.

Events include a poster competition inspired by Morpurgo’s book, and workshops with storyteller Rab Fulton – the next being in Galway city library on Wednesday.

An intergenerational book club will be initiated in Westside library on November 30th.

Only four of six competing boats are currently racing in the first ocean race first leg from Alicante to South Africa’s Cape Town. The Chinese entry Team Sanya, bearing a Discover Ireland logo, was holed after the start and the Abu Dhabi entry broke its mast. Both are expected to rejoin the contest in South Africa.

More details of the book-reading project are on onebookone