by Joe Kelly, Eileen McDermott and Rebecca Ford
On foot of the school closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the JCSP Librarian team initiated a range of challenges, competitions, and engagement activities to share amongst their project and school communities. Earlier in the year, the team, thanks to the work of Ciaran O’Doherty of New Cross College in Finglas, held a major exhibition of drawings inspired by Inktober, the annual international drawing challenge created by Jake Parker. SprINK20, an idea sparked by Rebecca Ford, Librarian in Collinstown Park Community College in Clondalkin, drew upon the success of Inktober during the difficult days of student isolation.
We asked our students to create a drawing everyday based on a prompt related in this instance, to Spring. Students were invited to take part throughout April. The standard of responses from across the country was wonderful, even garnering some coverage in one regional newspaper. Some of the participants were so engaged by this initiative they made it a daily practice, including participation over weekends and the Easter holiday period, thus having an opportunity to support their own wellbeing during the stay-at-home period. As well as extending the learning beyond school and into the home, the initiative also supported the literacy development of our participants. Many of the pieces demonstrate students’ ability for reflection, lateral thinking, and deeper visual literacy with their subtle use of vocabulary and interpretation of concepts. Librarians linked with students offering feedback and encouragement wherever possible and displayed the pieces of work on social media.
At the end of the month all the drawings will be collated for an online exhibition and students will be acknowledged for their efforts. We were grateful to have attracted the support on social media of several Irish artists and illustrators who joined our challenge. This SprINK incarnation of the Inktober drawing challenge, allowed the students to have another opportunity to experience a sense of continuity, creativity, and connectedness during the school closures. The results speak for themselves.
For more school closure initiatives by JCSP Librarians take a look here