Artist in Schools
For the academic year 2019/2020, Narrative 4 Ireland partnered with the Lorna Byrne Children’s Foundation for a special year long Story Exchange project with two DEIS secondary schools in Limerick.
Artists Helena Close worked one day a week in Thomond Community College with school librarian Jane Bingham Shee running Story Exchanges with all year groups. While Richie Hannafin worked in Coláiste Chiaráin Croom supported by the home school liaison staff.
In total 423 students completed the Story Exchange with over 90 workshops (September to March 2020) The project sought to firmly embed a new evidence-based programme in two secondary schools and pilot a new model for engagement with schools. The programme aimed to contribute to the health and wellbeing of the students by putting a focus on personal development, empathy and compassion within the classroom.
“It helped us to make friends with students we might never have spoken to”.
“I think our class got closer after it and I can talk to more people now”.
“I was paired with a boy I would have thought did not even like me but we got to know each other during the Story Exchange and now he is one of my friends.”
“If we had chosen our own partners, then we would never have got to know other people”
“I learned not to judge a book by its cover. Some people might look intimidating but have really nice stories”
“There was a really nice atmosphere in the library during the Story Exchange”.
“It helped me with a project we had in school where we had to speak out in front of the class because I had practiced speaking in the Story Exchange.”
“It helped to give me the confidence to join the debating club. I was very introverted but I’m learning to speak up more after the Story Exchange”