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Council staff receive Junior Achievement Ireland Award


Junior Achievement Ireland Award


Eight volunteers from Donegal County Council were awarded with the 2016 Junior Achievement Ireland Awards by An Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, Cllr Terence Slowey, in Letterkenny last week.


Donegal County Council have been actively involved in leading out on the Junior Achievement Programme in Donegal since 2003 which sees volunteers from the Council giving 45 minutes of their time each week to deliver a six week course in different primary schools in their areas.


There are seven themes in the Junior Achievement programme for children at different stages of their primary school education and the themes include Our City (8 – 9 years), Our Region (9 – 10 years), Our Nation (10 – 11 years) and Our World (11 – 12 years).  For instance, the theme Our Nation explores business operations and economic issues in Ireland and sees children role play business ownership, interview for jobs, produce a product using different methods of production, create product advertisements and conduct an annual shareholders meeting.  


“The programme creates a great interest and awareness in the students about their own environment at school, at home, the area they live in and how development occurs” says Patricia Friel Junior Achievement Co-ordinator in Donegal.


“By working with organisations like Donegal County Council we are able to connect local students with local volunteers who in turn share their insights and expertise, linking the classroom and the ‘real world’ to enhance their learning experience.  I am very grateful to Donegal County Council for their ongoing support.”


Speaking at the award ceremony Cllr Slowey thanked the staff from the Council who volunteered in this year’s programme.  “I am delighted to be in a position to thank the Council staff for volunteering their time and effort for this very worthwhile programme.  The fact that the Council has been involved in this programme since 2003 speaks for itself.  From listening to the staff and indeed to the programme co-ordinator Patricia Friel I can see how this programme creates a great sense of excitement and fun for the children participating.  It builds the children’s confidence in having their say and helps them to shape how they think things should be done”. 


Mary Elliott is one of the Donegal County Council staff members who volunteer on this programme.  Mary believes that while every student gets the chance to be involved in different ways it is also a great learning experience for the volunteers. 


“Students are so positive and have a clear understanding of various aspects of the business world and very often they teach us, as programme deliverers, to have a more socially inclusive approach to their world also!”


Certificates are issued to all the students who take part in the programme and the volunteers also receive a certificate of recognition at the end of every year.


The Council staff who received certificates of recognition included Bobby Smith, Martin Roarty, Fiona Wasson, Caroline Mc Cleary, Caitlin Uí Chochláin and Mary Elliott.


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