Thursday, March 14, 2019

THE Athy Twinning Committee, in conjunction with the committee in our twin town of Grandvilliers in northern France, sponsored a painting completion for fourth and sixth class pupils in Scoil Phadraig Naofa and the primary school in Grandvilliers.

The theme was Christmas in Europe and our pupils’ drawings and paintings were judged by the teachers in France and our teachers – Ms McDonnell and Ms Murphy – judged the efforts of the French pupils. Due to difficulties in the French postal and parcel system the prizes only arrived in mid-February rather than pre-Christmas. The standard was very high and it took some time to pick the winners who were:

Fourth class, Ms Murphy – 1. Brian Stefaniuk, 2. Neha Manoj, and 3. Ryan Darling. Sixth class, Ms McDonnell – 1. Oscar Webster, 2. Ruby O’Rourke and 3. Cian Keveny.

This competition was the result of a pen pal initiative proposed by the Athy committee a number of years ago whereby pupils write letters – yes, write rather than email – to the pupils in France and they in turn receive letters back. The children are enjoying the experience and are learning about life in a rural agricultural town in France. Hopefully friendships will blossom from their efforts and if the Athy pupils are ever in that part of France they will be welcomed. Our thanks must go to our pupils but in particular to our teachers Ms McDonnell and Ms Murphy who have put in a huge effort and worked with the Twinning committee to ensure that the initiative was a success. Roll on November when we will run the competition again.

Sixth class with teacher Edel McDonnell

In other news from the twinning, a group of 14-year-old boys from Athy Town AFC together with six adults will be travelling to Grandvilliers for St Patrick’s weekend. While there they will play a game against a team from the local soccer club ・ Grandvilliers AC ・ on their superb new all-weather pitch, take part in the annual St Patrick’s Day parade and take part in a cultural/historical trip. They will stay with host families and will learn something about French food and culture. The boys and adults going on this trip will hopefully make friends for life. The Grandvilliers team will be coming over in mid-May to play the return fixture together with a larger group. This larger group are visiting to celebrate the 15th year of twinning between our town and Grandvilliers. People will see them around town so say a big ‘failte’ should you meet with them.

The committee also hope that two transition year pupils will travel to Gandvilliers at the end of June for six days to take part in the annual Battle of the Somme commemorations and see what life is like in a French secondary school. They will take part in all the activities of the school whilst staying with a host family.

We are currently looking for more groups to become involved in Twinning. If any sporting, cultural or other group would like to become involved, please contact the chairman of the committee Stephen Horan by email at [email protected]

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