Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson has lodged a motion in Parliament congratulating a Highland-wide Gaelic scheme which took writers into schools to complete a book comprised of the students' own original stories.
He also uses it to call for the creation of a Gaelic Writers in Schools Scheme for the whole of Scotland.
Mr. Gibson's call comes after the publication of a book called Leabhar nan Gàidheal Òga (The Book of the young Gaels) which contains 63 pieces of work co-produced between 6 writers (Angus Peter Campbell, Catriona Lexy Campbell, Rody Gorman, Iain F. MacLeod, Morag Stewart and Lisa Storey) and Gaelic medium pupils from 21 schools (from P3-6) across the Highlands. The book also contains 57 pieces of art work which were done by students of both Gaelic and English medium from the schools.
Mr Gibson paid tribute to the effort which went into the book's production...
"The team received over 400 entries for the book which shows the imagination and interest that Gaels of that age have. However the real benefit for all is to have the writers going into schools and talking with the students in their own language. All cultures rely on a oral and literary heritage of story telling. However for the Gaels it has always been of the up-most importance. Indeed this culture has helped sustain the language through the very dark moments of it's history. I firmly believe that it will be stories that will help it in the future. A language which looses its imagination is one which is bound to fail."
"Contact for students of all ages in Gaelic Medium throughout the nation (in the form of the Gaelic Writers in Schools Scheme) would fire their imagination and allow them direct contact with their living literary heritage. This is a scheme which has worked wonders for our music and for writers in English. I see exciting benefits for young Gaels if a similar approach is adopted as regards Gaelic writers."
NOTE: Copy of Motion
S3M-02098 Rob Gibson (Highlands and Islands) (Scottish National Party): New Book by Young Gaels Very Welcome — That the Parliament welcomes the publication of Leabhar nan Gàidheal Òga which contains a wide range of new stories, poems and colourful illustrations chosen from children studying Gaelic in 21 schools across the Highland Council area; congratulates the young contributors from P3 to S6 whose imagination and wit expressed in their own language sends a positive signal from young Gaels today; thanks the part-time project co-ordinator, Johan A Byrne, and the team for their inspired choices of material which included 63 pieces chosen for publication accompanied by 57 pieces of original artwork; also thanks the funders, which included the Gaelic Books Council, Highland Council and Bord na Gaidhlig, GASD and LEADER+, and especially the six established Gaelic writers, Angus Peter Campbell, Catriona Lexy Campbell, Rody Gorman, Iain F MacLeod, Morag Stewart and Lisa Storey who encouraged such positive responses, and calls for a Gaelic Writers in Schools Scheme to be established to reach schools with Gaelic education across Scotland.