Certificates for alcohol awareness

FERGAL MADDOCK

Published 04/12/2012|11:30

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STUDENTS FROM two Swords secondary schools who have completed an alcohol awareness programme have been presented with certificates of achievement.

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Organised by Swords Lions Club, over 40 students from transition year classes in Loreto College and Colaiste Choilm completed the Peer Alcohol Education Project, which has been running for the last number of years. They were presented with a certificates by the Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Cian O'Callaghan, in the council chamber of Fingal Co Council. Afterwards the students were brought to Mastersons Restaurant, nearby, for refreshments Also in attendance was Stephen Peppard from Fingal County Council, Swords Lions Club president Maurice Kealy, Joe Smith, the District Governor Lions Ireland, as were Marion Conneely, John Boylan, Michael Clince, Sean Sandford, Patricia Sandford, Pat McNeill and Mark Rentzke. This Lions project, which was initiated by the Dublin Lions Club, is now in its eight year with Swords Lions Club joining in 2008 and 2009 when they issued the invite to the two schools to get involved. The teachers attended a one-day training programme organised by Dublin Lions Club, while the Swords group funded the cost of their training and materials. Last year, both schools' TY students attended an awards event in the Mansion House where the Lord Mayor of Dublin presented them with their certificates of achievement. However, it was decided to host the event locally in Swords, and involve Fingal Co Council, for 2012. ' The purpose of the programme is to ensure that our children are informed about alcohol. Its intention is to change behavior by creating awareness and providing information,' said Mr Kealy. ' To become Peer Educators, the students complete eight to 10 sessions, which is initially teacher led, drawing on the resource material supplied, but quickly changes to discussion and research as they prepare their class material. Following their training the students work in teams with 1st Year students, using the materials supplied and material they have prepared from their own research to address the issue of alcohol abuse. While the Peer Educators run these classes there is always a teacher present. Mr Kealy added: 'One of the key aspects of this project is to recognise the achievement of the students and the vital role of their teachers. It is why we have this awards ceremony, where their efforts are rewarded in a public way within the community, and we congratulate all of them for their success with the project.' 'We also hope to involve other local secondary schools in the project in the future.'

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