ELEVEN schools around the county will benefit from Limerick County Council’s artist-in-schools programme.
And the projects include a wide range of arts activity, from exploring drama and mime, to sculpture, music, painting, ceramics, weaving and craft work.
In one school, Caherelly NS, pupils will be working with opera singer, baritone Nyle Woulfe.
Launching the scheme at County Hall, leas-Cathaoirleach Damien Riedy welcomed the artists who will run the programmes and the teachers and pupils from the 11 successful schools.
“I would like to congratulate the artists and the teachers who, I know, had to put in time and effort into each of the winning proposals,” he said.
And he pointed out that since the programme began in 1997, over 100 schools have participated. “This year, the interest is as keen as ever,” Cllr Riedy said.
“I am sure that these residencies will not only benefit the children but also will give ideas to the teachers and bring a new energy into the normal school day. I know from my own time at school and even from my experience as an adult, that often what one learns informally is what makes a big impact on one’s life.”
“Any programme or project that helps to build and stretch children’s imagination and creativity is worthwhile in helping to build children’s esteem, confidence and helps to make a more rounded individual,” the councillor said.
The 11 schools to benefit this year are spread right across the county and include large schools like Monaleen National School as well as small schools such as Meenkilly in Abbeyfeale.
Limerick County Arts Officer, Joan MacKernan said the artist-in-school scheme had proved to be one of the arts office’s most popular and enduring undertakings.
“It is always exciting to see the proposals coming in from artists each year – and to see also the enthusiasm that schools bring to the projects,” she said.
“It is also good that teachers, pupils and artists can associate with their local authority in such a positive way. And as arts officer, it is great to have the opportunity to be able to offer work to our many gifted artists.
“Above all, however, I feel this is something for the children, a chance for them to experiment, to have fun and to express their creativity in various different ways. It is their positive experience of this scheme which is most important – and which ensures that we keep it going, year after year.”
The 11 schools taking part this year are Caherelly NS, Herbertstown NS, Monaleen NS, Meenkilly NS and St Mary’s Boys NS, Abbeyfeale, St Patrick’s, Bruree, Shountrade NS, Adare, Doon Convent Primary School, Templeglantine NS, Caherconlish NS and Kilcornan NS.