KILDARE Town Community School (KTCS) recently presented a cheque for €250 to Barbara Morris from Pieta House, which will help the organisation provide free counselling.
The funds handed over were the proceeds of a bake-off held on Monday 16 December, which has been described as a resounding success. Six teachers took part in the competition alongside 24 students – together they designed and created their masterpieces using ingredients like buttercream, ganache, fondant, sprinkles, cookies, flakes, marshmallows and chocolate. The mouth waters!
Students voted over lunch and the judges gave their opinion to reveal the winners. Ms Barry and her team of Jessica Doyle, James Adams, Paige Thackaberry and Aoibheann O’Brien were crowned champions and each received a box of chocolates as their prize. Highly commended awards were presented to Mr Barron’s team for their beautifully crafted snowman-themed cake, Mr Fitzgerald for his team’s ‘Santa is Stuck’ creation, Mr Brosnan’s exquisitely engineered Christmas cake, and Ms Kavanagh’s ‘cornucopia of delight’.
As part of the initiative, 12 caricatures of teachers were created by 6th year artist Jade Kearin and put on display in the school canteen. Students were asked to guess who was who in exchange for a donation.
“It was fantastic, there was a great buzz in the school,” said KTCS guidance counsellor Elizabeth Urell. “We were delighted, as were [Pieta House], with the money that was earned.”
Elizabeth explained that, on the day of the presentation, Barbara Morris gave students a great insight into the work of Pieta House. She added that, next year, the non-profit will deliver a programme on resilience to second year students (current first years).
The Resilience Academy is a six-week programme that sees students select four modules from a choice of eight. Each week, they take part in activities that develop positive coping strategies and are given advice on sources of support. Students will be able to ask questions – in a safe and confidential environment – at the end of each session.
“It’s a six-week programme for second years, equipping students with coping skills, problem solving, decision-making, cognitive skills,” Elizabeth said, noting that they talk about issues including managing school stress, bullying, mental health and body image. “The students pick four of those topics that are relevant to their current experience… they also have a session for school staff.”