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Minutes Open Meeting 15 February 2017

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PA GENERAL MEETING 15 FEBRUARY 2017 

The meeting opened with a welcome and introduction by Ronan White, Chairperson, on the purpose of Greenlanes Parent Association, and the aims for the evening:

  • to draw to parents’ attention the various projects being undertaken by the PA Committee, and
  • our desire for the parent body to get involved with the school as much as possible.

Guest Speaker: Elaina Ryan of Children’s Books Ireland

The guest speaker,  Elaina Ryan, Children’s Books Ireland, then made a presentation to the meeting about her organisation and its projects on books and reading for children, many of which schools can participate in. Do read more detail on this below, and go to www.cbi.ie.

Greenlanes Library Initiative - Book Donations and Parent Volunteers Needed

The PA is working with Cathy Atkin, Principal, to develop the library and reading stock. New shelving will be provided for the children, and the book stock will be developed and enriched. To this end parent volunteers will work on reviewing the current stock of books and identifying gaps. They will sort donated books and order and arrange them ready for use. Volunteers were sought on the night, and a number of people at the meeting came forward.

Parents can also get involved by donating books (new or in really good condition) which are suitable for ages 4 to 12 years. There may be opportunities for reading and storytelling in the future. People interested in helping should contact the PA.

Themed Subject Weeks at Greenlanes

There are a number of nationally-promoted weeks in the school year for the promotion of particular subjects areas, e.g. Maths Week, Science Week, Irish Language Week, Active School Week etc.

This year the PA hopes to support the school by organising events and activities to support the teachers’ work in the classroom during these weeks. Three have been decided on: Irish Language Week, 12-17 March 2017; Active Week, 29 May – 2 June and Maths Week, 23 – 27 October.

Fundraising

The PA will have a number of fund-raising events during the school year. The monies raised will be used for specific purposes. Priority is being given this year to the purchase of readers - multi-level reading schemes to allow home reading across a range of ability.

A sponsored school walk is planned, and a table quiz.

Traffic Management

Traffic Management was discussed, and it was agreed that there is a need to re-emphasise the Voluntary One-Way system in place at drop off/pick up, along with a reminder not to do U-turns. 

Also, it was noted that there are no signs at the each end of Seafield Avenue to show that there is a school.  We discussed whether the Council should be asked about signage.

Garda Vetting

Parents volunteering at school events must be Garda Vetted.  The process is now a simple on-line one, once particular information has been provided to the organisation (in this case the school).

Parent Talks Series

The next item in the series is the Speakeasy Training course, a two-session training for parents on how to talk to their children about sexuality - see the Greenlanes website for more information.

Dates: 27 February and 3 April at the school. Please register to attend.

There is time for one more talk this school year, if you have any suggestions, please send them to the PA.

The Role of Denominational Religion in the School Admissions Process

The meeting was told about the Minister for Education’s consultation process on the above, and the NPC survey on the role of denominational religion in the school admissions process, a link to which is on the Greenlanes website.

Guest Speaker - Elaina Ryan, Children’s Books Ireland

Elaina Ryan, Director of Children's Books Ireland (CBI), spoke to the meeting about the work of her organisation. CBI is the national book organisation of Ireland, whose purpose is to ensure that books are at the centre of children and young people's lives.

Elaina outlined the projects that CBI run, some of which are of particular interest to teachers and schools. For example, the CBI book award is an annual award which schools can get involved with by “shadowing” the judging process. CBI provides a resource pack to participating classes and the idea is that classes read one, some or all of the short-listed books. They then vote for their favourite book.

CBI produces excellent resources for parents and teachers to guide reading, including its Inis magazine, and reading guides.  People who attended on the night picked up some of them. It holds an annual conference, makes the annual CBI Award for outstanding contributions to books and reading for children, and appoints the Children’s Laureate, or Laureate na nÓg. The laureate is chosen for their internationally recognised body of high quality children’s writing or illustration and for having a positive impact on readers as well as other writers and illustrators. The current Laureate is PJ Lynch.

We would recommend that you take a look at their website: www.CBI.ie, watch out for the Book Doctors, and go along to their events.

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