Pictured at the Kindness Flag award ceremony was Alex McAuliffe, St Munchins College, Cllr Frankie Daly, Deputy Mayor of the Metropolitan District of Limerick, Siobhan Everard, Pay It Forward and Tana Mulqueen, Scoil Ide. Picture: Oisin McHugh True Media.
Scoil Ide and St Munchins schools awarded Kindness Flag
Two schools in Limerick were presented with a Kindness Flag for the first time at a special ceremony in Scoil Íde, Corbally. Pay It Forward Limerick awarded Kindness Flags to Scoil Íde and St Munchin’s College. Ardscoil Mhuire, the first school in Ireland to receive flag in 2016, was re-awarded the flag.
The Kindness Flag recognises a culture of kindness demonstrated consistently by an educational institution and its students. It is awarded by Pay It Forward Limerick, the non-profit organisation working to promote Limerick as a city of kindness through policy, education and community initiatives.
Scoil Íde is the first primary school in Limerick to receive the Kindness Flag. Members of the Scouts assisted students from Scoil Íde with the flag raising ceremony. They were joined by Councillor Frankie Daly, Deputy Mayor of the Metropolitan District of Limerick, members of the Pay It Forward Committee and almost 100 students and teachers from 12 schools across the region. St Munchin’s raised their Kindness Flag separately.
Over the last year, students from Scoil Íde, St Munchin’s College and Ardscoil Mhuire rolled out initiatives to develop the concept of Kindness in their school. Such activities included: senior students supporting younger students in the yard and with their nativity plays, charity fundraising, Tutor time treats and handing out teas and coffees to people in need on winter days.
Mr. Ray D’Arcy, teacher at Scoil Íde, said, “Scoil Íde has always placed huge store in the three pillars of respect, tolerance and inclusion, of which kindness is a key component. When we were introduced to the concept of Pay It Forward by our friends in Ardscoil Mhuire and Pay It Forward Limerick we were only delighted to join the movement and help make Limerick the “kindest” city in Ireland. We are absolutely thrilled with the way the concept has become embedded into daily life of the school. Huge credit must go to the Students’ Council from last year and this year for the work they have put into establishing and now developing the Pay it Forward movement in the school itself and the wider community of Corbally.”
Emma Behan, teacher at St Munchin’s College, said, “We are so thrilled and proud to be the first All Boys School receiving the PIFL Kindness flag in Limerick this year. This initiative has proven to be such a positive and uplifting experience for the students and the teachers of our College. It is now embedded in our school life and through the use of our bespoke Kindness Code, we will strive to keep Kindness alive and part of our daily lives. We are looking forward to the year ahead and to working with PIFL in the future.”
Lorraine Kerin, Teacher, Ardscoil Mhuire, said, “Ardscoil Mhuire was the first school to be awarded the Kindness Flag and we are delighted to be receiving our second Flag. Our aim was and continues to be to encourage a core group of students to engage in selfless ‘Acts of Kindness’ which would, as a result, cause a ripple effect throughout the whole school community leading to an exponential growth in goodwill, generosity and common decency. Encouraging and supporting students in our school community to do something thoughtful and selfless for those around them has had a very positive impact on the culture of an already caring and nurturing school. I would encourage all schools to embrace this initiative. Carrying out selfless acts makes us better people and makes the world we live in a warmer and more caring place. The more school communities that continue to get involved the greater the ‘Wave of Kindness’.
Launched in 2016, the Kindness Flag initiative is growing from strength to strength. At the flag raising ceremony, nine more schools committed to applying for their Kindness Flags in 2018 – bringing a total of 12 schools in the Limerick and Tipperary region involved in the initiative.
The nine schools are:
- Martinstown National School – Roisin Anglim, Teacher
- Our Lady Queen Of Peace, Janesboro – Sarah Mulcahy, Teacher
- St Nessan’s National School – Crea Mc Laughlin, Teacher
- Crescent Comprehensive Secondary School
- Nano Nagle, Presentation Secondary School – Ellen Condon, Teacher
- Villiers Secondary School – Emily Sexton, Teacher
- Castletroy College – Martina Murphy, Teacher
- Corpus Christi, Moyross
- Ballina Primary School – Bernice O’ Connell
Explaining the concept behind the flag and its success, Siobhan Everard of Pay It Forward said, “With this Kindness Flag initiative we are helping students appreciate the value of kindness and the profound positive impact acts of kindness can have on the receiver and the giver. The schools must demonstrate that they have participated in a year-long campaign before they can attain the Flag as we believe a sustained effort over time will instill this ethos in them for life.”
“The initiative has taken off far quicker than we expected. It has won over the hearts and minds of so many students and teachers – and not just in Limerick. We’re very excited about the possibility of the Kindness Flags being awarded to schools in Belfast and Cork,” she continued.
Schools seeking further information regarding the PIFL Kindness Flag can email [email protected]
Pay It Forward Limerick is a community based, voluntary run, charitable, non-profit organisation working to promote Limerick as a city of kindness through policy, education and community initiatives.
PIFL do not fundraise but rely on the kindness of patronage and philanthropy. PIFL is without personal, political or religious agenda.
For more on the Pay It Forward Limerick campaign click here
For more stories on the Pay It Foward campaign click here