Portlaoise Educate Together NS went true blue to support World Autism Day this year, to raise awareness and understanding of autism.
All the children wore blue in school on Friday March 31, in honour of those on the autism spectrum.
The primary school at Summerhill has the only purpose built autism unit, Le Cheile, in Portlaoise.
Some pupils in the unit are mostly educated separately to the mainstream school, while others are integrated part time throughout the school year, so Friday offered an ideal time for everyone to get to know and understand each other better.
Teacher Michael's 6th Class students visited the Le Cheile unit and learned all about autism.
They visited the OT Room, kitchen and the sensory room and spent some time playing with some of the children in the unit.
“The students had first hand experience and had a great time learning about World Autism Awareness Day. It was lovely to see pupils coming down to see Le Chéile and hearing children ask questions about the children in our class and the work that we do,” said Le Cheile teacher Elaine O'Rourke.
The principal is Sinead Aherne.
“Our day of celebration highlighted huge awareness in the school. The school wishes to thank all the children and staff for making it a most enjoyable day,” she said.
Blue is the colour for autism, and the day was celebrated world wide on April 2, while April itself is Autism Awareness month.
The Le Cheile unit needs ongoing funding however.
To help this, Portlaoise Educate Together NS is hosting its first Gala Ball on June 17 in the Killeshin Hotel.
Guests will enjoy a three-course meal and entertainment provided by Transmitter. Tickets are €45 each or two for €80.
“The school would like to invite everyone in the community to attend to help raise much needed funds,” said principal Sinead Aherne.
Call the school office on 057 8664823 for ticket information.