6th Class Students Receive “Copping On” Certificates
Fifty eight students from national schools based in the Roscrea area were honoured at an invigorating awards ceremony in the Damer Court Hotel on Tuesday evening last.
The awards concluded a venture called “The Copping On Programme” which is a project delivered to sixth class students in participating schools by members of Roscrea Gardaí and personnel from “The School Completion Programme”.
“The School Completion Programme” is co-ordinated by local woman Mairead Keevey who is assisted by Project Worker, Samantha Fennelly. The programme is delivered to schools in Roscrea and Birr and has proved to be a wonderful success since it’s inception in 2007. Apart from the “Copping On Programme” the Schools Completion Programme facilitates numerous projects that have a significant and positive impact on developing and improving the retention and social skills of primary school students. Other initiatives by the SCP include “Play Therapy”, “Socialisation Groups”, “Individual Sessions” and the Transfer Programme which helps make the transition from primary school to secondary school as comfortable as possible for students.
Thirteen students from Scoil Iosef Naofa received awards for participation in the “Copping On Programme”. A further seventeen students from Scoil Eoin Naofa and twenty eight students from “The Sacred Heart Primary School” also received certificates. The Cooping on programme focuses upon crime awareness and covers subjects such as communication, relationships, right and wrong, awareness of criminal behaviour, drug sense and the judicial system.
After making the introductions MC for the evening Mark McLoughlin, introduced Pat Carroll, Chairperson of Roscrea/Birr School Completion Programme. The Chairman acknowledged the importance of celebrating achievements with our young people and he commented on how well the children that participated in the programme engaged with the facilitators Sgt Hazel Delahunt, Samantha Fennelly and Mairead Keevey.
The Chairman said it was very encouraging to receive support for initiatives and programmes such as “The Copping On Programme”. Mr Carroll thanked Roscrea Credit Union for sponsoring the evening. The Chairman paid a special tribute to Brian King who along with helping with the planning and preparations for the awards night, represents the Credit Union on the SCP Board Of Management. The Chairman also had a special word of thanks for the Damer Court Hotel for their support with the awards ceremony.
The Chairman thanked the local Gardaí for their involvement in the “Copping On Programme”. The Chairman said that the involvement of the local guards helped reinforce the information passed on to the participants. The Chairman paid particular thanks to Sergeant Hazel Delahunt who he said has supported the “Schools Completion Programme” from the outset.
In conclusion Pat Carroll thanked the school principals, teachers, home school community and lisaon teachers and administration staff for their valuable support. The Chairman thanked Mark McLoughlin for helping the SCP celebrate the evening and finally he thanked all the sixth class pupils for participating in the “Copping On programme” and demonstrating an interest and a desire to make the community a safer place.
Sergeant John Byrne from Roscrea Garda Station was then invited on stage to commence the prize giving ceremony. Sgt Byrne said that the local Gardaí were delighted to participate in the programme. Sgt Byrne reiterated earlier comments by MC Mark McLoughlin concerning the importance of young people staying in school. By staying in school Sergeant Byrne told the students they had a far greater chance of avoiding a life immersed in crime and drug abuse. Sgt Byrne then spoke of the importance of “community” and working together so that everyone can help each other achieve more. Sgt Byrne thanked Roscrea Credit Union for their invaluable support and concluded by thanking Sergeant Hazel Delahunt whom he said was delighted with the enthusiasm of the students that participated in the programme.
Mary Kelly represented the Sacred Heart Convent on the evening and thanked everyone involved in the programme. Children from the Sacred Heart that participated in the Copping On Programme were then escorted to the stage in groups of five by Sgt Hazel Delahunt. The award certificates were presented to each student by Sgt John Byrne who was assisted by SCP Project Worker, Samantha Fennelly.
Speaking on behalf of Scoil Iosef Naofa, Principal, John Slattery, thanked Samantha, Mairead, the Credit Union and all the participants in the “Copping On Programme”. Louis Cooley from Scoil Eoin Naofa echoed similar sentiments and said that the “Copping On Programme” was one of the best projects that the school had ever engaged with.
When the presentation of certificates was complete, Chairman of Roscrea Credit Union (Sponsors Of The Evening) Mr Seamus Mullaney addressed those in attendance. Mr Mulaney said that like many community initiatives the credit union was delighted to support such a worthwhile project. He congratulated everyone involved and wished them every success for the future. Seamus then had the honour of presenting prizes to the winners of “The Crime Awareness Poster Competition” which was organised by the facilitators of the “Copping On Programme” to allow participants in the programme pass on messages to the public that they learned from the Coping On Initiative through the medium of art. Lauren Moloney (Scoil Eoin Naofa) was the overall winner and runner up prizes were presented to Tara Dwyer (Sacred Heart National School), Julie McMahon (Scoil Iosef Naofa, Corville) and Kelly Moloney Ryan (Scoil Eoin).
Mark McLoughlin concluded the formalities of the evening by complimenting everyone involved and by wishing all the students the very best as they prepare for second level education.
We look forward to hearing lots more about the great work of the “Schools Completion Programme” in the weeks and months that follow.