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The Briefing

Almost 1,000 Pupils across Greater Belfast to benefit from Literacy Programme brought by Electric Ireland and Lyric Theatre

by Aiken PR



Primary 7 pupils from 23 schools in Greater Belfast are to benefit from a literacy programme through a joint initiative between Electric Ireland and the Lyric Theatre.

The programme, which began in schools in December and will continue throughout January, will see 991 pupils participate in a two hour literacy and drama workshop facilitated by the Lyric’s literacy outreach programme.

Delivered in partnership with the Goliath Trust, which aims to help address educational underachievement in Northern Ireland’s most disadvantaged areas, the literacy programme will use the children’s book, The Dancing Footballer, the winning submission in Electric Ireland’s Shooting for the Stars children’s writing competition, to explore themes of self–development and self–esteem.

Following the workshops teachers will encourage pupils to write a story between 250–400 words with the authors of six of the best stories having the opportunity to participate in a special workshop session with a high–profile children’s author.

Clare McAllister, Northern Ireland Residential Manager, Electric Ireland, said: 

“Our recent work in partnering with the Lyric on the production of Rough Girls and our Shooting Stars book competition which produced The Dancing Footballer, was a new departure for our Game Changers NI campaign, allowing us to support both arts and education. It is really great that we are able to further that work now by partnering with the Lyric on such a meaningful project.

“The Dancing Footballer book, written by nine–year–old Sarah Dickson, deals with issues such as gender equality and inclusivity using dance and sport and spans important curriculum areas across literacy, PE and art. It is wonderful that the book now forms the basis of the Lyric workshops and I’m excited for the stories that this project will produce, and that we are in a position to help young people understand their value and worth.”

Speaking about the collaboration, Claire Murray Head of Marketing at Lyric Theatre said: 

“We are delighted that the Lyric Theatre, Electric Ireland and the Goliath Trust are able to collaborate on this fantastic initiative, thanks to the support of Arts and Business NI. The Lyric has supported the Goliath Trust for four years now through various outreach programmes, aiming to support teachers, pupils and their surrounding communities. We are thrilled that our partnership with Electric Ireland can help add value to the work we do in the community.”

Goliath Trust Board Member, Lady Daphne Trimble, saw the workshops at first hand and said: 

“The pupils at our Goliath schools are having such fun at the workshops. I am sure that following this the pupils will have no difficulty in writing about a Game Changer in their lives. This programme brings literacy to life through drama and creates a buzz in the classroom – it’s what learning should be about.”