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Pupils’ handwritten pleas melt Education Minister’s heart

Story by Ann Casey

Wednesday, 29th January, 2014 5:25pm

Pupils’ handwritten pleas melt Education Minister’s heart

The pupils of Kilbride NS, Trim, with their handwritten letters.

Handwritten letters by children from Kilbride National School, Trim, could touch even the hardest of hearts!
Education Minister Ruairi Quinn isn’t exactly known as a soft touch, but when he received 29 specially handwritten letters from pupils of Kilbride NS before Christmas, it wasn’t long before the school got the go-ahead for a two-classroom extension.
In fact, the minister was so impressed by the letters, he had them all scanned and sent to his Department’s buildings section, where the children’s pleas also met with a sympathetic ear.
The 108-pupil school badly needs an extension, as some students are currently accommodated in the general purpose room which means no indoor PE facilities.
The school was originally built as a two-classroom school in 1945 and was extended in the 1970s, but pupil numbers have expanded greatly and classes are now accommodated in the general purposes room.
At a time when small rural schools are under threat of closure, the school community is now celebrating the news that they will receive a two-classroom extension.
The letters were the brainchild of current acting principal, Lynette Parke, who teaches fifth and sixth class at the school.
She wanted them to understand the importance of a handwritten letter and encouraged her pupils to write to the minister, explaining the need for the extension and outlining three things they liked about the school. All of the students asked for two new classrooms and a hall and they were all allowed to ask for one other thing they would like in the school for themselves.

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