CLONAKILTY GAELSCOIL SAYS "GO RAIBH MAITH AGAT" FOR IPADS
Gaelscoil Mhichíl Uí Choileáin in Clonakilty has expressed a "Go raibh maith agat" mór to school families, businesses and the general public following a successful old mobile phone collection which has resulted in the provision of two IPads for ASD pupils in the school from Irish Autism Action.
Last March, the school launched a public appeal to the general public to donate old mobile phones. 10 businesses and the local County Council Recycling staff placed collection boxes on their premises to which the general public placed their old phones. There was also a great response from the general school community.
As a result of these combined efforts, nearly 400 phones were collected and Autism Ireland donated two iPads to ASD Unit at the school recently as a result.
The initial ASD class was set up in the Gaelscoil in September 2011, and there are now 13 pupils ranging from three to 11 years attending three classes. Teachers and SNA's have found that iPads are a vital tool of communication for the pupils. Many children with autism have communication difficulties, with some being non-verbal, and IPads loaded with specific language and communication apps open up the world of communication.
Pupils can construct sentences allowing them to express their opinions, wishes and needs which their fellow pupils and adults can easily understand.
School Principal Carmel Nic Airt explained that the school has been providing a full Primary school placement for Children with diagnosed ASD – the only service of its kind in the West Cork area, since last September.
"We have marvellous facilities, including a €43,000 purpose-built Multi-Sensory room, an Occupational Therapy Hall and dedicated Speech and Language rooms along with teachers and SNA's in the school who together bring out the best in our pupils with autism. We have seen the advantages that iPads bring to the children over the last couple of years but unfortunately we don’t have enough for all the pupils at present.
We are very thankful to the local businesses and workplaces that accepted collection boxes in their premises and collected the old phones for us, as well as the families of the school who bring in their old phones to us.
We want to especially thank the staff at the Council Recycling Centre who have been putting old phones aside for us and these meant that we got our IPads sooner than we expected.
This however is an ongoing campaign and we again appeal to the good people of Clonakilty and beyond to please drop their old phones to us so we can continue to purchase more IPads for our very special pupils.
The phones can be dropped off at O' Donovan's Hotel; Clonakilty Library; Quality Hotel; Park Leisure Centre; Harte's Spar; Sally's Super Valu; Technology Park; Carbery Milk Products; Irish Yogurts; Vodafone Shop and Clonakilty Recycling Centre".