Doodle Families

“One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world. Education is the solution”

After many years of preparation, Let’s Grow Together were delighted to work collaboratively with the schools’ community in the NorthWest area of Cork City in launching the Doodle Families Programme.

The Doodle Families programme is an afterschool evidence-based literacy programme designed by the Childhood Development Initiative (CDI) for children in first class and their caregivers. The aim of the Doodle Families programme is to support children to engage in literacy-enhancing activities in a fun learning environment. The programme focuses on strengthening links between school, community, and families to support children’s early literacy development. -It’s a whole school community approach!

Doodle Families fits so well with all the other programmes available in the community which support early childhood development, well-being, communication and learning, such as Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, the Hanen programmes for teachers, and Peep Learning Together Programme for parents and young children. It’s all about getting the best start in life for all our children.

In January 2023, ten educators from Northwest Cork City schools and community attend the Doodle Families facilitator training with CDI.  All were ready and eager to implement the programme during this final term. Scoil Aiséirí Chríost, Scoil Ísoagáin, and Scoil Padro Pio did just that.  The programme facilitators worked tirelessly to ensure that all 3 schools delivered the programme which was completed by 45 children and their caregivers!  Doodle Families has brought hours of fun and excitement over the past number of months to children, their families and expand their literacy skills.

Programme facilitators, in partnership with parents and caregivers, supported the children as they worked their way through their fun filled Doodle diary activity book. There were lots of storytelling and creative art projects, and the groups also went exploring their local libraries. The children created their own characters and wrote their own stories over the course of the eight weeks.

The programme came to an end with a celebratory party as the children graduated from the Doodle Families programme, but the fun won’t end there. All graduates were gifted a writing pack with various writing materials, books, and a personalised bookmark so they can continue to build on their literacy and writing skills over the Summer months.

Let’s Grow Together had the joy of attending the celebratory graduation party and spoke with the graduates themselves. It was wonderful to hear how much the children loved attending the after-school sessions and share their favourite parts of the programme. The children showed their Doodle diaries with confidence and smiles. It was a privilege to see children engage with the literacy activities with such enthusiasm and pride. ‘Literacy is a journey, not a race’ and Doodle Families programme has now featured on the literacy journey of all 45 children who participated. Helping to form the foundations of their early literacy development that they will continue to build on as they grow.

This programme has the potential to prompt a love for reading and writing at an early age. An interest we are confident will stay with children into adulthood. Perhaps, contributing in some way to inspiring future aspirations of authors, journalists, podcasters, poets, songwriters and more.

Let’s Grow Together would like to thank the children, caregivers and schools who participated for their hard work and commitment and to CDI for their ongoing support. The training and delivery of Doodle Families was made possible with funding from the Cork City Council/ Department of Housing Social Economic and Environment Plan.

We are looking forward to working with these schools and excited about the opportunity to extend to a further 3 local schools during the next academic year to Doodle Families classes of 2023/2024!

For more information please contact:

Arhonda Lynch Schools Community Support Worker with Let’s Grow Together

Mobile:      086 1854975