THE Athy Twinning committee, in conjunction with the committee in their twin town of Grandvilliers in northern France, sponsored a painting competition for fifth and sixth class pupils in Scoil Phádraig Naofa and the primary school in Grandvilliers.
The theme was Christmas in Europe and the Athy pupils’ drawings and paintings were judged by the teachers in France while Scoil Phádraig Naoga teachers – Ms McDonnell, Ms Fennin and Mr Phelan – judged the efforts of the French students. The standard was very high and it took some time to pick the winners, who were as follows: Fifth class (Ms Fennin) 1: Jiamin Chi; 2: Rilda Rose Mavinga; 3: Zoe Robertson; Sixth class (Mr Phelan); 1: Hugh Kennedy; 2: Adam O’Grady and 3: Niamh Maher.
This competition was the result of a penpal 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.
Thanks must go to the pupils but in particular the three teachers who 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 with a different set of pupils,” said a spokesperson.
In other news from the twinning, a group of 15-year-old boys from Athy Town AFC together with six adults will be travelling to Grandvilliers for Easter 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, and go on a cultural/historical trip. They will also visit local second level schools to get a feel for how education works in France. 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 committee also hopes 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 while 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: [email protected].”