Parents, pupils and staff gather at the official opening of the new sensory room at Littleton NS
Littleton NS has proven that community spirit is alive and well after banding together with the local community to self fund a sensory unit for children with special needs.
Over 18 months the community of Littleton organised everything from cake sales to bingo nights to raise a total of €15,000 for a state of the art sensory room at the school.
“They say it takes a village to raise a child and we certainly had the whole community rowing in behind us,” explains Littleton NS principal Christy Clancy of the finished project.
“From start to finish we received instant support from everyone in the area and it is a tribute to the community of Littleton and beyond that we have this facility in our school today,” he added.
Pic: The sensory room, pictured, which has proven a huge hit with all pupils at Littleton NS
The idea for a sensory room arose after staff felt it would provide additional supports for children with special needs at the school. However with no funding available, the school took matters into their own hands and with the backing of the staff, Board of Management and Parents Council were determined to raise the money themselves. Undeterred by the vast amount of money required to fit out such a project, Mr Clancy pushed forward with fundraising efforts, spurred on by the local community.
“It was a challenge, but a welcome one at that. The reaction from the local community was so positive we knew we were on the right track,” he says. Over an 18 month period the school community, backed by the support of Littleton village, hosted cake sales, coffee mornings, tractor runs, darts tournament, bingo night, table quizzes and sponsored marathon dashes in an effort to raise the €15,000 required to fit out a state of the art sensory room on the school grounds.
Dublin company Adam and Friends, who specialise in fitting out facilities for children with special needs, worked with the school to provide a play area suitable for the needs of every child in the school and according to Principal Clancy the results speak for themselves: “Every single child has benefitted from the addition of this room - it acts as a mindfulness zone, gives kids a chance to reflect and is a relaxing zone for children struggling with emotional difficulties.”
Earlier this month the school also received exciting news that they have been sanctioned for a new one ASD unit, set to open next September.
“It was a long campaign to get this ASD unit and we have to thank past pupil councillor Sean Ryan for his help and TD Jackie Cahill who raised the matter in the Dail. There is certainly a bright future ahead for Littleton NS,” he adds.
On Sunday March 4th, Moycarkey, Littleton, Two Mile Borris Active Group will hold a fun run in aid of the new autistic unit at Littleton NS. The 3km or 5km walk starts from Littleton Church at 10.30am. Adults €10, children go free.