“Yeats among Schoolchildren” – A nationwide competition for primary school children is launched for Yeats2015

Yeats Among Schoolchildren, a competition inviting primary school students all over Ireland to submit an artwork based on a visual Interpretation of a Yeats Poem, has been launched through the Network of   Teachers’/Education  Centres in Ireland.

The aim of the competition is to honour the legacy of Ireland’s National Poet, WB Yeats by raising awareness among primary school children about the works of Yeats and its cultural and historical importance.

This is one of the primary events taking place this year in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of the Nobel Prizewinning poet as part of Yeats2015, a year long programme of arts and cultural events and one of Ireland’s official decade of commemorations events.  This is the first time Ireland has honoured any one individual in this way.

Speaking at the competition launch, Mary Hough, from the Sligo Education Centre, who will lead this initiative said;

“We have been running this competition for a number of years in Sligo and are delighted to be working with Yeats2015, the Department of Education and Skills and the Association of  Teachers’/Education   Centres in Ireland  (ATECI) to expand this Nationwide.  Along with promoting access to and enjoyment of the poetry of WB Yeats, the competition aims to enable pupils to understand the language and imagery used in the poetry and promote greater literacy skills.”

Mary Hough went onto say, “Participating schools will also encourage children to discuss the competition at home, therefore further assisting in raising awareness of the poetry of WB Yeats and the important role literature can play in enriching our lives”.

The Yeats among Schoolchildren competition invites children to draw, paint or write a poem based on one of WB Yeats’ poems.   A book, with all the winning entries, will be published by Yeats2015 in conjunction with Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership and the Association of Teachers/Education Centres in Ireland. The book will be launched at one of the key commemoration events around Yeats Birthday, 13th June and distributed to all primary schools and libraries nationwide. All primary schools will receive two free copies of the book.

Commenting about this initiative, Ian Brannigan, Acting CEO of the Western Development Commission (WCD) said, “Supporting the creative sector has always been of strategic importance to the WDC.  We are pleased that Yeats among Schoolchildren is one of the key events taking place as part of the Yeats2015 yearlong festivities as it will play a role in enabling greater awareness and understanding of the poetry of WB Yeats among the next generation in Ireland.  It also makes the Yeats2015 programme very accessible, extending it to every school going child in the country.”

For more information on Yeats among Schoolchildren and other Yeats2015 events, see www.Yeats2015.com.

For further information contact:
Louise McDonnell
Marketing & PR
E:  louise@Yeats2015.com
M: +353 87 9291125

Notes to Editor:

A year-long programme, Yeats 2015 will encompass a wide range of artistic and cultural events, as well as legacy projects and it is estimated, will draw up to 85,000 additional visitors to Ireland.

Key programme highlights of this year long celebration include a worldwide celebration of Yeats Day on June 13th (WB Yeats’ Birthday), an exhibition of John Yeats paintings at the National Gallery, a celebratory music and poetry weekend of events at the National Concert Hall, an expanded Yeats Summer School in Sligo, theatre and dance performances at national arts festivals and widespread literary, academic and poetry events throughout the year.

The National Library will host a series of events at its award-winning exhibition, the Life and Works of William Butler Yeats, as will the Galway City Museum and The Model in Sligo.


International programme elements will include a series of events in London, including a poetry event at the British Library in London, exhibitions at Ireland’s embassy network and at international library locations facilitated by the Department of Foreign Affairs.  Tourism Ireland will also run an international campaign to grow visitor numbers to Ireland by increasing awareness of Ireland’s great literary heritage and the places that inspired Yeats including Sligo, Galway and Dublin.

An internationally renowned poet and playwright, Yeats was cited by the Nobel Academy in 1923, as having ‘given expression to the spirit of a whole nation.’ He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in December 1923, the first Irish man to do so.  His love of Ireland and of places in Ireland that were of particular inspiration to him such as Sligo, Galway and Dublin will also be celebrated as part of the programme.

Yeats2015 has been funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht as part of the national decade of commemorations initiative.  The Western Development Commission (WDC) has been appointed as secretariat by the Department to deliver the programme on their behalf.

Further Yeats2015 programme details are available at:

W: www.yeats2015.com
F: www.facebook.com/yeats2015
T: www.twitter.com/yeats2015WB