Castletroy College Ethical Christmas – pictured above are Delores O’Meara, Chairperson Fairtrade Limerick, TY GCE student Emily O’Loughlin, GCE Class Captain Hazel Dignam, Sr. Delia O’Connor, Fairtrade Limerick, Brenda Cribbin, Green Schools coordinator and Martina Murphy, GCE Teacher
Castletroy College Ethical Christmas Market organised by the TY Global Citizenship Education students to encourage people to shop more ethically at Christmas time
Castletroy College was a hub of activity this week preparing for their first ever Ethical Christmas Market which took place on Thursday, December 8.
The General Assembly area was transformed into a sparkling Christmas market which welcomed members of the school community, 6th class students from neighbouring Monaleen National School, Cllr. Francis Foley, Mayor of the City & County of Limerick, Ms. Aoife Rankin, Education Officer at Worldwise Global Schools, and Delores O’Meara from Fairtrade Limerick.
Father Christmas and Chief Elf Sam made a special appearance much to the surprise and delight of the primary school children.
The ‘alternative’ Castletroy College Ethical Christmas Market was organised by the TY Global Citizenship Education students to encourage members of the school community to shop more ethically at Christmas time.
Global Citizenship Education (GCE) is an educational process aimed at increasing awareness and understanding of the rapidly changing, interdependent and unequal world in which we live. By challenging stereotypes and encouraging independent thinking, GCE helps students critically explore the root causes of global justice issues and how they interlink with our everyday lives.
Irish Aid’s WorldWise Global Schools is Ireland’s national Global Citizenship Education (GCE) programme for post-primary schools. At Castletroy College, GCE themes are explored with students as part of the TY Religious Education Curriculum.
Hazel Dignam, TY Class Captain explained that, “GCE involves engaging our head, heart, and hands. It is about making a real difference. With this project, we wanted to encourage people to be more ethical consumers especially at this time of year and think swap don’t shop. I had never thought about shopping in a thrift shop, but I will consider it from now on”.
TY Class Captain Conor Devine told us that the TY students started working on the ethical Christmas market in early September with their teacher Ms. Murphy. Their slogan is Reduce, Reuse, Renew! The TY students requested preloved items such as books, DVD’s, computer games, toys & board games, puzzles, gift sets and perfumes from the school community. 6th Class students from Monaleen National School also donated items. For every donation, a token was distributed which allowed visitors to the market to pick something up for free! There were also some items for sale at very reasonable prices. It is no surprise to hear that all stalls were completely sold out by the end of the school day.
Resident seamstress, Home Economics Teacher Ms. Eilís Bourke accompanied by craft worker Ms. Suzanne Sheehan were on hand to repair any items of clothing that needed a new lease of life.
Fairtrade hot chocolate, tea & coffee with an abundance of traditional homemade Christmas delights attracted many to the food stall. The home economics students prepared a delicious menu of fab festive treats.
The Pink Tent in Newport kindly sponsored some Italian sourdough panettone, orange blossom and vanilla cupcakes, chocolate cupcakes and brownies which were all snapped up!
All funds raised were donated to the Children’s Ark at University Hospital Limerick and the SVP Christmas appeal.
Principal of Castletroy College Padraig Flanagan said, “the ethical Christmas market was a huge success. It achieved the twin aims of increasing the school community’s awareness of global citizenship and it was a lovely example of our students and staff working together for the greater good. I particularly enjoyed having the students and staff from Monaleen NS with us. I also wish to thank Mayor Francis Foley for being so generous with his time.”