Well-known children’s author and comedian David Walliams - who has also been a judge on ITV talent show Britain's Got Talent - has thanked the people of Donegal for choosing his book Mr. Stink in their One Book One Community initiative.

He expressed his thanks in a special video to mark the closing of Read DL 2019 at a ceremony at Educate Together N.S. in Letterkenny on Thursday.

In his message David Walliams spoke of how thrilled he was that Donegal had selected Mr Stink for this initiative and he wished all participants well.

Mr Stink is a hilarious and charming story, filled with love, life and surprising secrets!  Chloe, the loneliest girl in the world, makes friends with Mr Stink, the local tramp. One day, she decides to help him out when she realises he might be driven out of town. How does she do that? Well, she hides him in her shed.  She has to make sure that no one finds out her secret and speaking of secrets, there just might be more to Mr Stink than what meets the eyes (or the nose).

This year saw the Read DL initiative grow to include 56 Primary Schools, 13 Post Primary Schools, all Youthreach Centres, all ‘Learning for Living’ Centres, 3 Community based groups, Students at LYIT and Families.

Speaking at the closing ceremony Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr. Seamus O’Domhnaill congratulated all those who participated in this year’s initiative explaining to pupils how “reading is a pastime that will reap long term rewards”. He also thanked the committee for their “collaboration and dedication to making this years’ initiative one of the best yet.”

Courtesy of the LYIT and ETB, a total of 2285 books were distributed throughout the county and 100 copies were made publically available through the library network. In addition, new dimensions were added; such as the development of a Read DL app, 3 library family events, 2 public reading events and an exhibition of artwork at the LYIT.

This year’s short story competition was once again very popular receiving almost 200 entries with winning entries in the primary category by Alice O’Connor from Drumman N.S. and in the post primary by Sofia Fullerton from Crana College.

Now in its 9th year, the Read DL “One Book, One Community" initiative is designed to bring local people together through reading and discussing the same book/author. The objective of the project is to get as many people reading a book from a particular author at the same time, therefore building a sense of community while also promoting literacy. Read DL has a multiagency committee including the School Completion Programme (SCP) and Home School Community Liaison (HSCL) coordinators from Errigal College, Letterkenny Educate Together NS; Donegal ETB Learning for Living; the local LYIT; retired ETB staff members & Donegal County Council Library Service. The success of the Project can be attributed to the strength of the cooperation between the various organisations.

You can also visit www.readdonegal.com for further information and learning activities to accompany ‘Mr Stink and previous READ DL titles. Stay up to date by following Read DL on Facebook @readdlsocial and Twitter @ReadDonegal.

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