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SCHOOLS: Riverbank Arts Centre’s WHITEBOARD programme

This Autumn, we’ve launched a WHITEBOARD Schools programme – a series of interactive arts broadcast to the schools throughout Kildare featuring leading children’s writers, illustrators and theatre-makers. In 2019, 6,500 children from 41 schools attended events at Riverbank Arts Centre as part of a school trip. We are committed to programming for primary and secondary schools in an innovative way this Autumn, despite the Covid 19 restrictions.

Our events include:

SHANE HEGARTY – Boot: A Small Robot on a Big Adventure
DATE: TUESDAY, 13th October
TIMES: 9.30am, 11am or 12.30pm
DURATION:  45 mins
3rd, 4th, 5th  Class

Shane Hegarty will talk about his new book in the Boot series,  about a little robot with a big heart and answer questions from the children. 

Shane Hegarty is the bestselling author of the ‘Boot’ – about a toy robot with only two-and-half-memories. ‘Boot’ was recently Dublin UNESCO City of Literature Citywide Read. He also wrote the ‘Darkmouth’ series about a boy who has to fight monsters even though he’d much rather run away.

Boot: a Small Robot on a Big Adventure by Shane Hegarty is published by Hachette

We are delighted to partner with Super Paua of an exciting series of workshops for Science Week, 9-12 November

Choose from three very different workshops outlined below to explore science, storytelling, creativity and activism in your classroom. These workshops will be conducted via ZOOM by Mark Ball of Super Paua, who created The Lonsdale Project – a theatrical exploration of the life and work of world famous (and Newbridge-born!) scientist, Dr. Kathleen Lonsdale.

WORKSHOP 1: Stargazing & Storytelling – 1st Class- 6th Class
“I’m only supposed to come up to the attic on Saturday nights, because stargazing is a late night activity. Doesn’t matter these days. Can’t sleep at night. Can’t focus during the day. Whole neighbourhood is the same.”– Moonstone by Aoife Meagher, Super Paua Stories Series 1
Join us to explore astronomy and storytelling in this workshop inspired by the story Moonstone by Aoife Meagher.

In this workshop we will look at storytelling techniques and constellations to encourage children and young people to create their own stellar, stargazing-inspired stories.


WORKSHOP 2: Citizen Science Meets Theatre-Making – 5th & 6th Class
“In March 2020, we made a show about Kathleen Lonsdale – an Irish-born scientist, activist, and all round legend.  During the making of this show, we fell in love with Lonsdale’s story, and (bearing in mind none of us have an education in science, at all) learning about her research convinced us how rewarding engaging with STEM can be for anyone. We figured, if we can do it, and enjoy doing it, then so can loads of other people like us.”
The Lonsdale Project website is a new citizen-science meets theatre-making website for young people. 
Are you curious about how theatre and science can combine to make beautiful experiments? Are you interested in flexing your creative and scientific capabilities? Do you think that science or art are not for you, but are willing to have your mind DRASTICALLY changed?

In this workshop we will bring young people on a journey that combines science, theatre and storytelling, inspired by the science and life of Kathleen Lonsdale. The workshop will look at how you can engage personally and as a community in a fun way with science, creativity and activism.

WORKSHOP 3: Is Peace Possible?  Zine Workshop  – 5th & 6th Class
In 1957, Kathleen Lonsdale wrote her book Is Peace Possible? Kathleen was a pioneering chemist, crystallographer and activist. She laid out her ideas about peace, pacifism and non-violence in Is Peace Possible? Lonsdale was extremely aware of the social and political impacts science can have, so made a point of standing up for what she believed in.

 In this zine workshop, develop your artistic and storytelling skills to create your own zines based on the question Lonsdale poses in the title of her book- Is Peace Possible?

What would peace look like to you? What do young people, scientists, artists and citizens need to engage with to make peace a possibility?

A zine is a self-made, DIY, publication that brings together collage image, text, personal writing etc on a theme or question. Zines have historically been a popular way of communicating ideas and experiences of marginalised people by not having to go through mainstream publishers.   

(Post primary workshops available also – contact for more details)


Pádraig Kenny –The Monsters of Rookhaven 
DATE: Wednesday, 27th January, 2021
TIMES: 9.30am, 11am or 12.30pm
4th – 6th Class

Join Pádraig Kenny as he introduces his new novel
The Monsters of Rookhaven and talks about monsters and why they frighten us so much. Pádraig will ask what monsters are, and what frightens you, and why we like scary stories.

Sometimes the monsters take us.
Sometimes we become the monsters.

Mirabelle has always known she is a monster. When the glamour protecting her unusual family from the human world is torn and an orphaned brother and sister stumble upon Rookhaven, Mirabelle soon discovers that friendship can be found in the outside world. A thought-provoking and beautifully written novel, Pádraig Kenny’s The Monsters of Rookhhaven, explores difference and empathy through the eyes of characters you won’t want to let go. 

‘A stunning book . . . a brand new take on the monster story’ Eoin Colfer

Pádraig Kenny is an Irish writer from Newbridge in County Kildare. His critically acclaimed children’s books TIN (2018)  and  POG (2019) were nominated for several major literary awards.
The Monsters of Rookhaven by  Pádraig Kenny is published by Pan McMillan (2020)


Graham Tugwell – Greetings, Heroes! Christmas Edition 

DATE: 10th Dec
TIMES: 10am and 12pm 
DURATION:  60 min
3rd Class and up 

Greetings, Heroes! Online: The Impossible Library is an interactive storytelling experience where the students take the role of characters in the story, led by expert storyteller Graham Tugwell. 

Like a choose-your-own-adventure-book, or world-famous role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons, Graham will guide the adventurers through a series of exciting and deadly challenges – will each door they choose lead to success or further peril? How will they approach the many puzzles within? Will they find the wondrous treasure at the heart of the Impossible Library? Only their decisions – and the dice – will decide.

How It Works
Greetings, Heroes! Online: The Impossible Library is a story improvised in real time. Each class represents one character in the story, with their own suite of special abilities and unique magical items (found on a simple character sheet given to each teacher). As obstacles or puzzles are encountered, Graham will ask for the classes to make their choice of action, with their teacher placing each choice in Zoom chat. Graham will use these choices to direct the action of the adventure and their effect, for good or ill, upon the narrative. To participate, all you need is a Zoom link and an adventurous spirit.

Graham Tugwell is a writer, performer and Dungeon Master extraordinaire. He has brought the Greetings Heroes live show to over fifty schools, libraries and festivals.


These interactive events will be broadcast into classrooms via an online platform  – To book an event or to find out more about Riverbank Arts Centre’s Whiteboard Programme  contact

Booking fee for each event is €30 per class.