Gettin School’d

Some words I thought I would never say are “I had a great day in school” but yesterday I said those words.

We had the pleasure of spending the day with the kids and staff of St. Joseph’s Primary School in Summerhill, Athlone. What a great day in a great school.

I was joined by what were to become the legendary duo of Gerry and Dexter. We got a mail from Ms. Henry (Paula, top teacher) asking would it be possible to come visit the school as part of their School Improvement Plan (SIP) for Literacy. 20 Steps to Literacy Programme. The month of October was dedicated to Rescue Services.

We arrived at the school early on the Thursday morning not knowing what to expect. Schools have changed since I was there. Gone are the days of cleaning the duster on an outside wall or wiping down the Black/Green Board (Depending on your age) but instead there are interactive white boards. A giant screen on the wall that you can control with your finger. Technology is a wonderful thing.

Every class we arrived into, we were greeted by big smiles and warm welcomes. Everyone paid full attention to Gerry and Dexter as he explained about training search dogs and how they trained him. He answered questions about, how long it takes to train a search dog?, what are their diet’s?, what the dog does?, how it finds people? and I think our favourite questions of the day, “How high can a dog jump?” (which lead onto what exactly could the dog  jump over) and “Do dogs like Trampolines?”. The last question Gerry has promised to find out if they do or not.

We held a short demonstration in the school yard of how Dexter and Gerry work when searching and thankfully the rain didn’t dampen the spirit of the kids. Dexter and Gerry got a round of applause every time they had a find, only problem now is that Gerry will expect the same when on the side of a hill.

I had asked Ms. Henry to ask the kids to draw some pictures for us, little did I expect to find a school full of artists. I will post some of the pictures on the website so keep your eyes open.

I also have to say a big thank you to everyone at the school including the Principal Ms O’ Raghallaigh, Ms. Henry, The rest of the teachers (I never had teachers like that in school,  all wonderful), the very patient  and caring S.N.A.’s and the biggest thank you of all to the students, for the very kind donation from the coffee morning. It was really appreciated and from Everyone in SARDA we say Thank You.

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