New Book To Celebrate Gaelic Medium Education

School pupils will be busy putting pen to paper for a project celebrating the success of Gaelic Medium Education which will bring together both Gaelic medium and non-Gaelic speaking young people from across the Highlands.

'Leabhar nan Gàidheal Òga (Book of the Young Gaels), will be a book of new Gaelic writing by Gaelic medium pupils throughout the Highland area, with accompanying artwork, produced by non-Gaelic speaking students.  The project will culminate in community exhibitions throughout the Highlands of written text and artwork generated by the project and a book launch with an accompanying exhibition at the National Mod in Fort William in 2007.

120 Gaelic writing workshops by professional writers will be delivered to Gaelic medium classes in Highland Schools to generate new writing by the pupils.  These sessions will be enhanced by video-conferencing link-ups with other GM schools to read and discuss their new writing.

Once the new writing for the book has been chosen, a video will be made with young writers reading their new short stories or poems in Gaelic and English and explaining them in English. 
Copies of the video will be circulated to all schools, encouraging non-Gaelic speaking young people to become involved in the project by designing new artwork to accompany the written work.

The Highland Council’s Cultural Co-ordinator for Skye & Lochalsh, Susan Walker came up with the idea for 'Leabhar nan Gàidheal Òga.  She said:  The project is designed to raise the status of Gaelic and give it a positive image amongst young people and in communities throughout the Highland area.  It will be inclusive of non-Gaelic speakers and will make Gaelic accessible and attractive to non-Gaelic speaking young people who will watch the video and design artwork.

“A central aim is to increase richness of usage of Gaelic by writing workshops with published, charismatic Gaelic writers and new teaching materials that they will develop which can then be used in GM schools throughout Scotland and with adult Gaelic speakers and learners.”

A part-time project coordinator will be employed to coordinate the project and members of the wider community will have the opportunity to attend exhibitions of the work which have been produced by school children in their area.

Chairman of the Council’s Gaelic Select Committee, Councillor Hamish Fraser said: “This is an exciting project which will develop strong links between pupils from different schools through the medium of video conferencing.  Seeing new writing published in a book and exhibited in public community venues will encourage young Gaelic speakers to feel more confident and positive about the Gaelic language.”

The project is being delivered by a partnership of the Gaelic Books Council and The Highland Council with additional funding from Bord na Gàidhlig, LEADER+, and the Gaelic Arts Development Fund.

25 Oct 2006