KINSALE student Sarah Fitzgerald investigated the decline in reading among children for her BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition.
The 13-year-old surveyed 1,000 students between the ages of five and sixteen years from Cork, Kerry, Galway and Dublin for her project.
Key findings in her survey include the facts that 35% of those surveyed prefer to watch TV or use their phones than read, 43% of people didn’t join a library because it was too time-consuming, 54% of those surveyed were not members of libraries and 45% of those surveyed who enjoyed reading read daily. Sarah’s survey also found that there was a decline in reading as children reached the ages of thirteen to sixteen years.
Sarah, who appeared on The Late Late Toy Show in December to review books, explained why she chose to do this project.
“My ultimate goal was to spread the gift and joy of reading to children and teenagers nationally,” she said.
“Firstly I had to understand why they don’t read and using this information, come up with possible suggestions, such as the introduction of more school libraries, a social book hub for reading on Saturdays and an awareness campaign through a book ambassador programme.”
Sarah plans to continue her research in the area of reading and publish her findings and recommendations on her website: www.sarahsbookproject.com.
Sarah is one of 39 Kinsale Community School pupils entering the annual contest, bringing 20 projects to the event.
In total, 39 Cork secondary schools have entered almost 130 projects in the competition, which runs from Wednesday until Saturday, with the winners announced on Friday.