March 8 In the Press

Tyrone Author inspires Markethill High School pupils in World Book Day celebration

By Eleanor McGillie

PUPILS of Markethill High School joined in this year’s World Book Day celebration by welcoming acclaimed author, Emma Heatherington, to talk about storytelling, imagination and stimulation.

Emma, 38, from Donaghmore in Co Tyrone and author of Crazy For You and contributing writer for If I Were A Child Again, spoke to a packed assembly to highlight the positive effects of picking a book up off the shelf and reading it.

During her talk to pupils aged 11-14 Emma spoke about the importance of children not getting trapped in the virtual online world and emphasised the importance reading books can have on the development of literacy skills.

The author, who signed a four book deal with accomplished publisher, Harper Collins, said: “One of my favourite writers, Stephen King, describes books as a kind of ‘portable magic’. I fully agree with him. And what better time than during World Book Week, to remind us all, no matter what age we are, about the power of escapism of the mind in a good book.

“Nothing feeds the mind more than a gripping story. It is exercise for the brain and for all of us, that’s just as important as exercising the body. It’s stimulating, it’s entertaining and, best of all, it’s the best way of stepping out of reality and we all need that from time to time.

“I would encourage all parents to fill their home with books be it from the library or your local bookshop and marvel at how satisfying it is to see your child become engrossed in a story. With so many of us now constantly glued to a virtual online world, it is refreshing and healthy to switch from mind numbing video games and social networking by picking up a book and getting stuck in.”

Markethill High School, a school which offers pupils access to the highest quality learning and teaching opportunities, with a clear focus on strong literacy and numeracy development, was delighted to host Emma.

James Maxwell, Principal, said: “Strong literacy skills are essential because they have an incredible impact on our lives whether we are in school, at home or in the workplace.

“Emma’s talk was inspiring and stimulating. Her passion for books and how stories enrich people’s lives is very powerful. Our pupils are all too aware of the joy they experience from reading and they also are fully aware of the educational rewards such as gaining skills which can pave the way for successful exams, improving job prospects as well as enhanced writing skills.

“Emma’s visit has certainly supported our commitment to giving our pupils the best opportunities possible and on behalf of the school, I thank her for being such an inspiration.”

ENDS:

NOTES TO EDITOR:

  • Markethill High School is the Best School in Northern Ireland for Modern Languages
  • In September 2013, The Minister for Education John O’Dowd congratulates Markethill High School for being one of 11 schools in Northern Ireland which successfully bridges the gap between social disadvantage and educational attainment
  • In October 2013 the ETI report that Markethill High School is a school of ‘very good practice’ and commends all aspects of school life
  • In November 2013 Harper Adams University in Ireland announces a collaboration with Markethill High School to lead the way in education in Northern Ireland by encouraging pupils to take up careers in agriculture
  • For further information contact Eleanor McGillie of MGMPR Ltd on 028 3756 9569 | 07709805379| Education PR | Brand Journalism Experts | Brand Journalism UK | Brand Journalism Northern Ireland | PR Agency Northern Ireland | Public Relations Northern Ireland | Public Relations UK |

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