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'I Can Taste the Rain' Book launched

'I Can Taste The Rain: Thinking Smarter about our journeys’, by children from Dungarvan, Co. Waterford'. This book was created by the young children of Le Cheile, Co. Waterford Community Childcare; The Little School of Montessori; Scoil Gharbháin and St. Mary's Primary School over the course of the last 18 months. Our launch event was recognition of the children's hard work in putting the book together, in front of an audience of their parents, families, teachers and childcare professionals. The project itself came about as a collaboration between the Go Dungarvan Smarter Travel project and Waterford Childcare Committee. One of the cornerstones of the Go Dungarvan project has always been that any plan forthcoming would not be one dreamt up in a project office but instead would be a plan of and for all of the people of the area. It is out of this spirit of consultation and dialogue that the idea for this exciting project was borne. We really needed to consult with and listen to the most important people of all-the very youngest people in our community, the children themselves. To this end Kids' Own Publishing Partnership was brought in to lend their expertise in facilitating children to produce their own work around the whole subject of examining how we travel on a daily basis. The end result is a fascinating look at how our children view different forms of transport with a particular focus on walking and cycling.

The workshop phase of the project took place from March to May 2014 and through the words and artwork of the children the book was created. The underpinning principles of Aistear (NCCA, 2009), the National curriculum framework, were an undercurrent to the travel theme project throughout the entire process all the while supporting children and their lives in early childhood, children’s connections with others and how children learn and develop. The children’s experiences were supported in creative processes, strengthening relationships and communication between home and the preschool & school environment which benefits the parental involvement, community involvement and ultimately the interactions. The interactions featured heavily and were supported throughout the process between children with other children, children and adults, and adults and other adults. Great credit goes to the Kids' Own Publishing Partnership team of Orla, Jo and Sharon for all their hard work and commitment to the project. A huge thank you to Jacqui de Siuin of Waterford Childcare Committee whose endless energy and enthusiasm for the project and the process behind it really made the whole thing possible. We would also like to acknowledge the staff of Le Cheile, Co. Waterford Community Childcare, The Little School of Montessori, Scoil Gharbháin and St. Mary's Primary School for facilitating and supporting the project. Thank you to Cllr. Damien Geoghegan for helping launch this wonderful book. Finally a big thank you to all the boys and girls, along with their parents and wider family whose stories feature in this book and who made the project possible.

The book will be available in the local primary schools and childcare services in Dungarvan, contact Johnny Brunnock at the Go Dungarvan, Smarter Travel Office at jbrunnock@waterfordcouncil.ie or 058-21496 for more information.

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