Primary pupils receive top marks for enterprising ideas
Proud primary pupils have turned the story of the difference a local business has made to their area into badly needed funds for their school.
From the tiniest corner shop to a large factory, the huge contribution local businesses make to their communities was the theme of this year's schools' Building for the Future competition.
The Building for the Future partnership between Independent Newspapers Ireland, Bank of Ireland, TV3 and Smart Technologies has distributed more than €9m of prizes and funding to 3,000 primary schools since 2001.
This year's winning entry was inspired by De Brun Iasc Teo, a fish-processing business on Kerry's Dingle peninsula that started in a family garage in 1984 and now employs 60 full-time and seasonal staff.
Scoil Eirc, Baile na nGall, (Ballydavid) received the top prize of €20,000 and its pupils were praised for a well-told story and the "painstaking work" that went into the strong the artistic and creative side of the project.
Their "beautifully presented" work even touched on romance between employees at the factory. Delighted school principal Maire Ni Laoithe said the €20,000 would "help pay some of the bills" arising for their recent extension, and buy books and good camera equipment for the school.
The four provincial winners who received a Smartboard -- an interactive white board, worth over €5,000 -- were:
- St Mary's National School, Templemore, Co Tipperary, which highlighted the success of a Young Oil, a family business.
- Killocraun National School, Ballina, Co Mayo, told the story of Murphy's Antiques, and its owner, master craftsman Michael Murphy, who won a Silver Gilt Medal at the famous Chelsea Flower Show this year.
- Kilmyshall national school, Bunclody, Co Wexford, featured the commitment of Pat and Joe O'Reilly and their staff at the local Supervalu store.
- Sacred Heart National School Granard, Co Longford, chronicled the rise of Pat the Baker, from modest beginnings in 1953, when emigration from country towns was rampant.
A further 14 "highly commended" schools each receive €1,000: Scoil Chroi Ro Naofa, Bangor Erris, and Pullathomas National School, Co Mayo; Scoil Bhride, Mountnugent, Co Cavan; Scoil Reidh na Doire, Macroom, Co Cork; St Leonard's, Dunnamaggin, Co Kilkenny; St Pius X, Ballacolla and Rosenallis National School, Co Laois; Drumeela National School, Carrigallen, Co Leitrim; Gerald Griffin National School, Loughill and Nicker National School, Pallasgreen, Co Limerick; Drumbaragh National School, Kells, Co Meath; Rossmore National School, Cashel and Shronell National School, Lattin, Co Tipperary; and Scoil Naisiunta na Rinne, Ring, Dungarvan, Co Waterford.
All schools that registered for the competition received a Philips TV and educational DVD, and those that submitted a project received a matching music stereo.
Declan Carlyle, Deputy Managing Director of Independent Newspapers Ireland, said the initiative was focused on en-riching schools and their communities through fun-based education projects.
Bank of Ireland chief executive officer retail (Ireland and UK) Des Crowley said the theme gave students an insight into important aspects of their communities. TV3 commercial director Pat Kiely said it encouraged the participants to tap into their hidden talents.