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  • February 14, 2022
  • 3 Minute Read
Press Release

Enterprise & Children's Books Ireland Launch Childhood Reading Initiative with Minister Norma Foley

Over 1,900 Pupils in 64 Schools Across Ireland to Receive Book Based on Irish Traveller Storytelling Tradition

Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Children’s Books Ireland have launched an initiative to give away 1,900 copies of Why the Moon Travels by Oein DeBhairduin to children at 64 school across Ireland at an event in Tralee attended by Minister for Education Norma Foley.

The donation is part of Enterprise’s ROAD (Respect, Opportunity, Achievement and Diversity) Forward program, which is a $55 million global initiative funded by Enterprise’s philanthropic arm, the Enterprise Holdings Foundation, to promote early childhood development, youth health and wellness, and career and college preparation.

Through the ROAD Forward initiative, more than 1,900 sixth class pupils from across Ireland will receive their own copy of Why the Moon Travels, a collection of folk tales rooted in the oral tradition of the Irish Traveller community collected by Oein DeBhairduin and beautifully illustrated by Leanne McDonagh.

Students at Caherleaheen National School in Tralee, Co Kerry were among the first pupils to receive copies of the book through the program at a special event attended by Minister Foley.

"I am delighted to be launching the ROAD Forward initiative here in Tralee," Minister Foley said at the launch. "Introducing children to reading at a young age is crucial and initiatives like this go a long way to fostering an appetite for reading in our schools. It is said that books are uniquely portable magic and this initiative will transport a myriad of Irish children and young people into a world of Irish folk and fantasy through the power of reading.

Why the Moon Travels which preserves and showcases the wonderful oral tradition of the Irish Traveller community. I hope all the pupils receiving a copy of this book enjoy it and share with their friends and families the unique tales it captures.”

"Enterprise has a long-standing relationship with communities across Ireland and we continue to support this through initiatives such as ROAD Forward," Enterprise’s Managing Director for Ireland Brendan Grieve said at the initiative. "These are values that are central to everything we do at Enterprise.

"We’re incredibly proud to partner with Children’s Books Ireland and are grateful to Norma Foley for supporting today’s launch. It’s a brilliant book, which I hope will give a lot to the pupils. As a father of four, I understand the positive impact that a love of reading can have on children and the opportunities that it can bring as both a source of pleasure and empowerment. I hope the children enjoy Why the Moon Travels and that it helps to foster a life-long love of the written word."

"What a gift the Enterprise ROAD Forward program will be for almost 2,000 sixth class students all over Ireland," Children’s Books Ireland CEO Elaina Ryan said. "Why The Moon Travels won the Judges’ Special Award and the Eilís Dillon Award at our 2021 KPMG Children’s Books Ireland Awards, and we are sure that it will captivate young readers’ attention as much as it did ours. With Enterprise’s support, we will ensure that children have access to excellent stories from diverse perspectives and support wonderful Irish-published work in the process."

Enterprise Holdings first announced its ROAD Forward program in November 2020 through its philanthropic arm, the Enterprise Holdings Foundation. The $55 million, global initiative focuses on promoting Respect, Opportunity, Achievement and Diversity (ROAD) for youth and families by addressing three areas in need of urgent attention: early childhood development, youth health and wellness, and career and college preparation.