Solas@School is made up of three parts; Solas College, Solas Business and Solas Sports. This particular programme is run in conjunction with local schools and our aim is to keep children interested in education and to start them thinking more about their future and the different possibilities. By providing fun in-school activities, we believe this can help increase student attendance and participation in school.
So with the summer holidays now in full swing, we've decided to take a look back over our year with Solas@School!
Solas College got involved in College Awareness Week at the end of November which involved going in to 8 primary schools to have an interactive classroom discussion about 3rd level education. Six of these schools also went on a trip to Trinity College Dublin where, after an introductory talk, they completed a treasure hunt style quiz and had a tour of the college. All of these activities are based around breaking down the perceived barriers some of these children may have towards going on to 3rd level education.
There were 9 primary schools and 1 secondary school involved in Solas Business this year, as well as 9 different business. Solas Business is our 'Dragon's Den' style programme where a group of young people are paired with a business mentor to come up with a new product or idea which they then pitch to the judges. The overall winners at the Community Final were St Audeons primary school who came up with 'The BullyBug', which was a small pocket-sized gadget to stop bullying by having a hidden camera and microphone to monitor a child's surrounding and make them feel safer. All of the ideas on the day were amazing and we were astounded by the confidence shown by all of the children while carrying out their pitch in front of a crowd of over 190 people, it can't have been easy!
Solas Sport was ongoing throughout the year with weekly sports sessions happening in 8 different primary schools. To mark the end of the year, we hosted a Tag Rugby Blitz where the children from all 8 schools and some of our corporate volunteers from Google, WebSummit, Savills and Maples & Calder gathered in Terenure Rugby Club for a day of sports and fun. With over 250 people there it was a great day!
It has been a great year and to top it all off , the boys from Francis Street CBS came down to The Yard on their last week in school to read out some Thank You letters they had written for us. We would just like to say how touched we are by their kind words, you're a great bunch! Check out their lovely letters below.
One of our Youth Cultivators, Amy Ryan, said:
"We are so incredibly proud of all the young people graduating from 6th class this year and we have really loved every minute of working with them. We wish you all the best of luck in secondary school, we know you'll be fantastic!"