A number of Transition Year students from Crescent have just completed a learning initiative with St. Munchin’s Girls and Infant School, Ballynanty, on the north side of Limerick. The aim of the programme was to expose 4/5 year-olds to language through story time, games and IT and to build relationships between the child and the Crescent students through a buddy system. Students received initial training from the teachers in St. Munchins. They worked in the primary school one afternoon a week. The project was be overseen by teachers in Crescent and the principal of St. Munchin’s, Mrs. Rena O’Shea, who is a member of the Board of Management of Crescent. The pilot programme ran for nine weeks, and the response has been extremely positive.
Students from Crescent found the experience enjoyable but were also given an insight into the many facets of disadvantage which exist. All expressed an interest to continue with the programme. Similarly, the students from St. Munchin’s were exposed to positive role models, and reading skills showed a marked improvement. Given the positive feedback, it is proposed that the scheme will be a permanent activity open to Transition Year students.
The initiative was attempted in the context of the apostolic nature of Jesuit education and the students were endeavouring to live this concept by being men and women for others. The students involved were Alex Shaw, Nicole Finucane, Lucy Butler, Deirdre Glynn, Claire Malone, Aoife Roche, Jilly White, Crona Hannon and Abbie McCreanor.