Well, the library is alive and kicking, books are flying off the shelves and into the arms of the students of Rockford Manor, imaginations are spurred on by the ink on each page as yet another treasure is uncovered, a mystery, a love story, the comedian, the depths of darkness where vampires reign supreme, this my friends is the entry of the greatest affair of life, a thirst for books! Those that examine the art form of a short story have described that it must strive for ‘great riches in a small room.’ That is essentially the wonder of a library the entry point into a vast range of worlds, it is the wardrobe that opens onto Narnia and the Hogwart’s train that transports you into a world of wizards, the world of Twilight, a book that hurtles you into a reality TV show where The Hunger Games reign supreme or if you prefer a backwards look at life, Manga is for you!
World Book Day arrived on the 7st March and Rockford Manor celebrated it in style with the initiative Drop Everything And Read. The basic premise of this initiative is that at a set time, everyone, teachers, students stop what they are doing and read. At 10.15 on Thursday, the corridors were silent, the only sound in the entire school was the sound of pages turning. It was a quiet success. Another Drop and Everything And Read initiative is in the pipelines as it was such a triumph last time with students queuing up to get the prized possession, a book!
For students, The Mighty Pen Creative Writing Hour continues to take place every Wednesday at 3.30pm. It is a free creative writing session, the hour includes writing exercises and prompts to get ideas flowing. It is open to everyone and is suitable for all levels of experience. Whether you’re a poet, playwright, budding novelist or short story writer, we would be delighted for you to come along.
Rockford Manor has opened its doors to esteemed writers. The First Years and LCA took part in a two wonderful writing workshops held by Jane Mitchell on Monday 5th March. Jane has written numerous children’s and teen literature including Chalkline which won the Irish Children’s Choice Award 2009/2010. Jane Mitchell had this to say about the students: “I really enjoyed the workshops and the students were receptive and engaged. I especially enjoyed the creative writing with the LCA students. They showed great imagination and really participated. The time just flew by!.. the girls were really so full of natural creativity and original ideas that it would be wonderful if they could develop their skills in this area a little more.” The students of LCA had this to say about Jane’s workshop: “We had a creative writing class with Jane Mitchell. It was really interesting and good. We learnt a lot of new ways to write a story and have more confidence about writing one now. We learnt to create a good character and bad one . We really enjoyed the class, we had her and hope she will come back again to our school because she gave us a lot of good tips!” Niamh Owen from 1st Years said: “Jane Mitchell is a very talented writer. It only took me two days to finish Chalkline as I was glued to it. I would recommend reading Chalkline!”
Next to knock on the doors of Rockford Manor was Henry Mc Donald. On Friday the 9th of March, the Fifth Years were given a talk on journalism whether it be; feature writing and the new elements of writing such as blogging, Henry shared his enthusiasm for writing. Henry set the 5th Years a challenge of writing a news story in ten minutes dividing the class in tabloid and broadsheets. He was impressed by the standard and gave helpful hints on how to pursue a career in journalism. The 5th Years were miles ahead of most journalism students as they had already utilised their social media skills through Twitter and Facebook. Henry McDonald is the Ireland Correspondent of The Guardian and The Observer.The 5th Years had this to say about Henry’s visit: “We all got the opportunity to improve our writing by taking part in various exercises. All in all, it was a very beneficial and informative experience!”
On Monday the 12th of March, Denise Deegan, author of the Butterfly Novels did an interactive workshop on story writing with the Second Years. Denise talked about what it’s like to be a writer and how she ended up as one. The big question that every budding writer wants to know! She told the students of her journey as a writer and set out brain-storming exercises to really get their imagination flowing. She is now following two of the students on Twitter as they embark on a literary career through blogging.
I would like to end this news bulletin with words of thanks. The library works in close collaboration with Ms Marian Keyes, Senior Librarian in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown, I would like to pay tribute to her outstanding contribution and support throughout the year. I would also like to thank the students whose comradery and infectious enthusiasm fuel this project and make lunchtimes speed by!