AN INNOVATIVE Irish publisher, that developed an online course to turn primary school pupils into real published authors, has been backed by coffee giant Starbucks.

The Emu Ink Schools’ Publishing Programme, which was founded in 2017 by former Journalist and Newspaper Editor Emer Cleary and her Software Developer husband Brian, has published thousands of children to date using the company’s own technology to encourage literacy skills in children.

As publisher of the world’s youngest authors, at four and five right up to 12 and 13 years old, the founders have used their knowledge and industry experience to bring the unique programme to the classroom – giving children everywhere the opportunity to see their name, and their work, in print.

The course itself, is a series of lessons and exercises, that can be accessed online and projected through the interactive whiteboard or viewed via tablet, computer or phone; on completion of which will see each student having written a short story.

All short stories are then published in a paperback anthology.

In partnering with Starbucks every child in every participating school will now get two special bookmarks as a gift upon publication. These bookmarks will double up as vouchers and entitle the new authors to free hot chocolates and their parents to free coffees, in any Starbucks.
They will also get €10 off any activity at any Leisureplex and every teacher in participating schools will also receive a free Starbucks reusable cup. These are just some of the ways that Starbucks is supporting Emu Ink and encouraging young writers. Between them, the companies will also be running various events, including open mic experiences where children can read their work to an audience.

Ms Cleary said, “Our programme encourages children of all standards to aim high, be imaginative and work hard – and it rewards them for it by publishing their work, no matter what their age, capability or standard.

“It is important to us to work with companies that share our vision, that care about social inclusion and literacy and recognise the incredible work being done in our schools both through our programme and outside of it.

“We are thrilled to be recognised and supported by such a well-known and respected brand.”

Celine Gilmer, Group Marketing Manager for Starbucks said, “We are delighted to have partnered with such an innovative Irish company. The Emu Ink Schools’ Publishing Programme encourages children to chase their dreams.

“The values and ethos of the company, which promotes imagination and freedom of expression – as well as social inclusion – is everything that we believe in and we look forward to working with Emu Ink long into the future.”

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