Monday 26 September 2016

Aer Lingus staff help transform deaf children's playground into outdoor paradise for pupils

Published 14/05/2016 | 09:53

Aer Lingus staff has helped a deaf children's playground take off.

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It was their best birthday present ever.

The grounds of St Mary’s and St Joseph’s Merged Primary School for the Deaf in Cabra – which celebrated its 170th birthday this week – have been transformed into an outdoor paradise for pupils.

Thanks to the generosity of 120 workers from Aer Lingus who gave up a day off for the cause, the school playground was transformed into a sensory and visually-stunning interactive play area for the deaf and hearing-impaired students and pre-schoolers.

Aer Lingus staff members who transformed a playground at St Mary’s and St. Joseph’s Merged, Primary School for Deaf Children, Cabra into a multi-zone space complete with a football pitch and an outdoor classroom. Pictured are from left, CPT Pat Flannelly, Susan Crawley, Callum Smith and Melanie Kialka. Pic:Mark Condren
Aer Lingus staff members who transformed a playground at St Mary’s and St. Joseph’s Merged, Primary School for Deaf Children, Cabra into a multi-zone space complete with a football pitch and an outdoor classroom. Pictured are from left, CPT Pat Flannelly, Susan Crawley, Callum Smith and Melanie Kialka. Pic:Mark Condren

Aer Lingus staff, from pilots and cabin crew to cleaners and IT staff got to work, raking soil, laying slabs and painting fences as part of the Difference Day charity team-building initiative.

Bamboo chimes, upright wooden pencils painted in bright primary colours and a horseshoe-shaped outdoor classroom under an apple tree are among the delights that will greet the students when they return to school on.

Aer Lingus staff members who transformed a playground at St Mary’s and St. Joseph’s Merged, Primary School for Deaf Children, Cabra into a multi-zone space complete with a football pitch and an outdoor classroom. Pictured are from left, Maria Stokes-Keaveney and Dave O'Connor. Pic:Mark Condren
Aer Lingus staff members who transformed a playground at St Mary’s and St. Joseph’s Merged, Primary School for Deaf Children, Cabra into a multi-zone space complete with a football pitch and an outdoor classroom. Pictured are from left, Maria Stokes-Keaveney and Dave O'Connor. Pic:Mark Condren

“We were so amazed and overwhelmed by what was possible that we knew that this project would be really right for our newly-merged school,” said Eimear O’Rourke, principal of St Mary’s School for Deaf Girls.

“Deaf children love to interact with the environment and that’s a very important part of language learning.”

Aer Lingus staff members with pupils Madars Kuzis and Callum Smith who transformed a playground at St Mary’s and St. Joseph’s Merged, Primary School for Deaf Children, Cabra into a multi-zone space complete with a football pitch and an outdoor classroom. Pic:Mark Condren
Aer Lingus staff members with pupils Madars Kuzis and Callum Smith who transformed a playground at St Mary’s and St. Joseph’s Merged, Primary School for Deaf Children, Cabra into a multi-zone space complete with a football pitch and an outdoor classroom. Pic:Mark Condren

Pilot Orla Clancy was relishing the “departure” from her normal duties to paint the pre-school fence a cheery blue.

“I’m delighted to do it,” she said.

“It’s a win-win for everyone and it’s great fun.”

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