Borris National School in County Carlow's Someone Like Me entry
Pupils in two County Carlow schools are celebrating after being named as County Winners in the junior and senior categories of a leading national art competition.
Borris National School and and Ballinabranna Mixed National School, Milford, are now in the running for what has become a much sought-after national title.
The Someone Like Me competition is supported by the National Disability Authority. It aims to promote disability awareness and nurture understanding amongst primary school students and to highlight the similarities that exist within people of all abilities.
Now an annual initiative, Someone Like Me promotes inclusion and positive attitudes towards all persons, allowing children to learn about and discuss these topics and creatively express what they have learned through art and craft.
The entry from Borris National School, titled Senior Infants Self-Portrait Collage, was named Junior County Winner. The group entry saw each pupil create their own self-portrait, and by placing them side by side in a collage they were able to see each person's uniqueness. The class of senior infants were assisted by their teacher Maura Bambrick.
Ballinabranna Mixed National School's entry was named Senior County Winner. It was the brainchild of 5th class pupil Mia Fitzpatrick, who drew a picture with coloured pencils depicting a girl with one arm playing with fellow pupils in the school yard.
Ballinabranna Mixed National School's Someone Like Me entry
Judges Caomhán Mac Con Iomaire, Mark Maguire and Ellen Keane were greatly impressed with the artistic efforts of pupils and teachers at the two schools for their imaginative Someone Like Me submissions, which were selected for being exceptionally insightful and inspirational.
Congratulating the Carlow pupils, Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Disabilities Finian McGrath TD said that he was hugely encouraged by the number of competition entries. “I am delighted to say that this year we received almost 2,400 entries for this wonderful competition, which highlights the passion and continued enthusiasm that teachers and pupils alike have towards this initiative,” he said.
“More than 600,000 people in Ireland have a disability, and children under 15 make up 53,000 of that figure. The National Disability Authority strive to promote inclusiveness in all of the work they carry out, and the fact that an entry was received from every county in Ireland highlights that by providing a creative outlet in which we can build understanding and awareness of our different abilities, we can truly discover the similarities that unite us all.”
Both Carlow schools will now go on to compete with 45 other schools from around the country for the overall national award, which will be announced at a ceremony in Dublin City Hall on Wednesday, December 5.
The competition, which offers a range of prizes up to the value of €750, was open to all primary school pupils from junior infants to sixth class. 2,400 entries were received from individual pupils, class groups and whole schools right across Ireland. Entries ranged from posters and collages to large sculptural installations and multi-media pieces.