Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne students have been making a real difference in improving their local environment over the past several months through their involvement in the Young Social Innovators (YSI) Programme, which encourages young people to participate in improving the world around them.
The students embraced the idea and have been working hard to make the school and the broader community more environmentally friendly, according to teacher and YSI programme co-ordinator Bernadait de Brún.
"Our YSI theme this year is centred around improving our environment and we have worked on raising awareness, both inside and outside of the school," she said. "Among the things we did was to run a competition between first years to collect plastic bottles for recycling. The class that won - 1L - was treated to a session at the local climbing wall, while also learning what needs to be done to recycle bottles."
As part of the project a recycling bank for aluminium drink cans has been set up at the school, along with a paper recycling plan which has seen up to 75 per cent of the paper used in classrooms recycled.
Speakers from Kerry County Council, Dingle Tidy Towns and a representative from Trócaire also visited the school to speak to first and second years about various aspects of the environment.
Along with cleaning rotas and clean-up days in the school, the YSI participants at Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne have also branched out their efforts into the local community.
"We will be helping Féile Lios Póil and local tidy town committees with cleaning up the local beaches once the weather improves," Bernadait said. "We are also planting red and white pansies in the shape of the letters P C D which should bloom before the summer."
The students will plant 30 trees next month and presentations in recognition of the efforts of students will be bestowed in the near future.
Pobalscoil students will outline their efforts, alongside other participating schools from across the county, at the YSI 'Speak-Outs' event in Cork on March 6.