Kolbe Special School formed the centre of a circle of friendship around Portlaoise Parish Church, last week.
Joined by local primary schools and representatives from the local Gardaí, hospital, parademics and An Post, the event was organised as an opportunity for the community to come together.
“This is just something we have organised ourselves. We did it a few years ago for Special Olypmics, and decided to do it again this year,” acting principal Orlagh Mahon explained. “It’s about everybody joining together and uniting the community.”
She said they organised the Circle of Friendship to raise awareness and to raise funds for a therapy room in Kolbe Special School, which would be used by the children.
Pupils from the Gaelscoil Portlaoise, Scoil Mhuire, Boys National School in Mountmellick and Kolbe Preschool joined with Kolbe Special School for 10am mass in the Parish Church, last Thursday morning.
Some people who had attended Mass that morning, also stayed back to watch the local primary school children join hands in a special show of unity.
The procession of young school children were then led outside into the bright morning sunshine where they released balloons to a large cheer and round of applause from their teachers and school principals.
“The weather was fantastic and really added to the morning. It’s great to see all the schools coming together and joining in the Circle of Friendship,” Ms Mahon said.