Three Laois schools chosen to get creative with cash grants

Michelle Hogan

Reporter:

Michelle Hogan

Three Laois schools chosen to get creative with cash grants

Three Laois schools have been granted €2,000 each for a 'Creative Schools' initiative that aims to bring arts and creativity into the classroom.

This project sets out to help children and young people explore and develop their creative sides in school linking them with the arts and creative infrastructure in their community.

Chosen from over 300 applicants, Dunamaise College in Portlaoise, Abbeyleix South National School and Camross National School will receive the €2,000 grants each to carry out creative art projects they have drawn up.

Creative Schools aims to put the arts and creativity at the heart of children’s and young people’s lives. Participating schools will understand, develop and celebrate their engagement with the arts, empowering them to bring about real change in the way they work. 

Three other Laois schools were involved with the project last year, they were Holy Family Junior School, Portlaoise, Sandy Lane National School, Portarlington and Scoil Bhríde, Portlaoise.

Each school selected for 2019-20 will be provided with a package of support which includes cash and the expertise of a Creative Associate to work with them directly.

The aim is to enable them to explore the potential impact of the arts and creativity on school life. 

Total cash of €2.36m is being provided for the project nationwide.

Some 150 schools across Ireland reflecting all types of education settings have been selected to participate in the Creative Schools initiative.

These schools were chosen from over 300 applicants, each one was required to explain how their participation would support learning and development in the arts and creativity.

Initially launched in 2018, ‘Creative Schools’ is led by The Arts Council in partnership with the Department of Education.

Orlaith McBride is the Director of the Arts Council.

“The Arts Council is committed to providing children and young people with more opportunities to participate in, and enjoy, the arts. 

“The Creative Schools initiative has been a really successful way of inviting thousands of young people all across Ireland to explore their creativity, guided by the expertise of artists and other creatives in their own communities. 

“We are delighted that this year the initiative will be supporting a further 150 schools and that many more children and young people will have this opportunity to participate in the arts in a very tangible and meaningful way,” she said. 

Minister Madigan said this initiative will enhance learning for 40,000 students nationwide.

 “Culture and creativity are powerful means through which children and young people can explore communication and collaboration, stimulate their imaginations to be inventive and harness their curiosity.  

“These are vital skills for all young people to learn and I am delighted that, as a result of today’s announcement, an additional 40,000 students will have the opportunity to enhance their learning experience and personal development through creativity,” she said. 

Minister McHugh welcomed the investment in Creative Schools. 

“Today’s announcement is an important milestone for my Department and the all-of-Government Creative Ireland Programme.  The significant increase in our investment in Creative Schools, Creative Clusters and the Local Youth Arts Partnerships will enable us to deliver more fully on our ambition to support and nurture the creative potential of our young people within their schools.

 “A young person’s time in education should help to build their confidence and resilience, helping them to deal with life’s ups and downs. Nurturing the creative potential of our young people is about helping them develop an appetite for discovery and encouraging them to acquire the skills they need to achieve their ambitions. I look forward to seeing some of those ambitions come to life in our first Creative Schools National Celebration in November,” he said.

Creative Schools was launched in 2018, with 150 schools selected to participate in the first round commencing at the start of the 2018/19 academic year.

The initiative was opened to the second tranche of 150 schools in 2019. Schools selected to participate in 2019-20 are provided with access to the expertise of a Creative Associate to assist in developing a unique creative plan for each school.

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