Mr. Dermot O Connell, Ulster Bank, Eyre Square, Galway; Professor Ger Hurley, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs, NUI Galway; Imelda Byrne, Access Officer, NUI Galway and Seán Óg Ó hAilpín, All-Ireland winning hurler with Cork Senior Hurling Team
Monday, 26 March, 2007: Over 100 pupils from primary schools across Galway will be honoured by All-Ireland winning hurler Seán Óg Ó hAilpín at a special ceremony on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 for their participation in NUI Galway's 'Uni For You 2007' programme.
The children will receive medals and certificates from the Cork star in recognition of their involvement in the three-year programme which promotes education, school attendance and personal development through sporting, cultural and academic activities on the University campus.
'Uni for You' is developed and delivered by NUI Galway's Access Office in partnership with Scoil Bhríde, Shantalla; Holy Trinity Girls School and St Michael's Boys School Mervue. Now in its seventh year, the programme is a homework and sport club which is run on campus in conjunction with Áras na Mac Léinn. The children are helped by undergraduate volunteers two hours a week in completing their homework and playing sports. Capoeria, the Brazilian dance craze was a big hit with the children along with the old reliables, rounders, uni-hockey, soccer and basketball.
Professor Ger Hurley, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs will host the ceremony in the O'Flaherty Theatre at 7.00pm, where the winners of the 'Write a Book Review' Competition will be announced. The contest was organised as part of 'Uni For You 2007' to actively encourage reading and reflection among the school children.
"NUI Galway sees the involvement of the ten, eleven and twelve year old participants in this project, together with their parents and teachers, as a positive action which, we hope, will focus their attention on future educational achievements and progression into higher education,' said Prof. Hurley.
Explaining the significance of the programme for those involved, Imelda Byrne, NUI Galway's Access Officer said; "This collaborative programme between NUI Galway and three city primary schools aims to help students develop personally, encourage them in their studies and help them and their families and the wider community overcome any perceived barriers to University as an unwelcoming place."
Easter and Summer camps facilitated by university staff volunteers have introduced the children to topics in science, engineering, languages and humanities subjects, which enable the children to get a feel for their subject choices in secondary school and encourage them to participate more actively in their own learning. New initiatives in 'Uni for You 2007' included a story telling course and performance where the children told stories they had created themselves in seanchaí style. The programmes' success includes the participation of parents with their children in the study skill and homework support workshops run by the Access Office.