A Cork secondary school participated in several Christmas initiatives designed to bring festive cheer to communities and raise funds for several worthy Cork charities during December.
Students from St Peter’s Community School in Passage West recently presented Christmas donations to residents in Padre Pio Nursing Home in Rochestown. The students also sang Christmas carols and chatted with the nursing home residents.
School principal Tony McSweeney said the students have engaged in several community events over the festive season.
“We had 45 students at the Padre Pio Nursing Home. It was one of the school community connection initiatives that we were working on over December. Our students sang carols and had a socialising event with the residents. A big focus for our school during the month of December was raising awareness and creating a sense of community within the school,” he said.
Students from St Peter’s Community School also performed Christmas carols and melodies outside Passage West Post Office to raise funds for two charities said the principal.
“Our students then delivered a great musical performance outside Passage West Post Office. They braved the elements to bring festive cheer to the community and raise funds for Concern and UNICEF. This was led by our wonderful school chaplain Maeve McGovern. She was ably supported on guitar by one of our teachers Alan Murphy. It was a great day.”
The Cork secondary school also held several fundraising initiatives designed to raise funds and create awareness of the charities and their campaigns said Mr McSweeney.
“Our student council ran a very successful cake sale during anti-bullying week to raise money for Jigsaw Ireland who support teenagers with mental health challenges and the Carrigaline Resource Centre who provide support by way of free counselling for teenagers. We also held a Christmas jumper day in the school with all funds raised going to Cork Penny Dinners.
“We have also held a food appeal since the start of December. All the hampers will be donated to St Vincent de Paul. Our second and third year Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) classes designed Christmas cards which have been sent to local nursing homes for the residents. This showcased their creative abilities and reached out to those in the community,” he added.
“We place a strong emphasis on nurturing and developing global citizens,” said the school principal.
“Central to that is offering student leadership opportunities where students can promote their own ownership and school initiatives.
This ensures they can impact the local community and even nationally in as many positive ways as possible.” Mr McSweeney is full of praise for the strong community ethos so prevalent in the Passage West secondary school. “The students are great ambassadors for the school.
"You judge a school by its students. All these initiatives during the month of December make me so proud as a principal. They are positively impacting their local community, and beyond which is what we want our students to do. We also want them to positively impact their world when they leave school as well.”
The secondary school principal said they want the students to make a ‘positive’ impact on their local communities.
“There is a great community spirit in the school. The core business of the school is providing high quality teaching and learning is our central focus, but we want the students to take what they are learning in class and to go out and practise it within the community. We want them to be role models and to make a positive impact in the community.”