Dear parents and guardians,
Please see below two letters regarding the campaign for a second-level Educate Together school for Citywest. Our school only exists thanks to the hard and dedicated work of these parents, who campaigned tirelessly for five years to get an Educate Together National School in our area. The same commitment is needed now so that our children have a second-level school to progress to. All parents need to work together on this, for the future of our children and for the future children of Citywest. Please consider giving support in some way. However small that bit of support may seem, adding up lots of little bits of support makes for a successful campaign!
You can do this!
With my support and that of the Board of Management of Citywest Educate Together NS,
Allow me to introduce the Citywest Educate Together Second Level Campaign Group. This group is made up of a small number of parents of young children currently in our primary school. This campaign was started because we (the parents) want all our children to continue their education primary and second level within the Educate Together ethos. Now, we need you.
We need you and your time, to help all our children in the primary school have a second level school here in Citywest to continue their education and growth within the Educate Together family. In only a few years from now the first group of our children will complete primary school with Citywest Educate Together National School. So, where will they go for secondary school?
If you want your child/children to continue to develop within an Educate Together setting and locally (here in Citywest) at second level, then we ask you to join our campaign.
- We need your voice.
- We need to send letters to the Department of Education.
- We need Expression of Interest Forms filled in.
- We need to lobby our local politicians.
- We need to raise awareness within the local community.
- We need to get publicity through the local media channels.
- We need shares and likes on Facebook.
All our children need you. So, please take this chance to be part of history, here in Citywest and help shape the future for all our children.
On the following dates in the primary school reception area, volunteers from our group will be asking for your support. If you could please fill in the expression of interest form and sign a new letter for the Department of Education, that would be super.
May 10th from 1pm to 3pm
May 11th from 1pm to 3pm
May 12th from 1pm to 3pm
May 13th 8:45am to 9:30am at the Parents Association Coffee Morning
Over the last 9 months, since we started this group for a Second Level Educate Together School for our children here in Citywest, a lot has been done.
- We have sent letters to the Department of Education,
- Secured provision for multiple second level schools with South Dublin County Council in the 2016-2022 Local Authority plans for this area
- Set up an expression of interest form with Educate Together http://www.citywestetns.ie/campaign-for-a-second-level-school.html
- Gained initial support from Educate Together
We have lots to do and so little time before our children head on to second level. We can not take for granted that a second level educate together school will just appear. We all need to come together and work for our children's future. I ask you please to spare any time you have to join the campaign and help us secure a second level Educate Together school for all our children here in Citywest.
Citywest Educate Together Second Level Campaign Group
Hi Parents and Guardians.
I am writing this blog about my experiences with the start-up group for our wonderful school, Citywest Educate Together National School, in the hopes that it ignites your interest in our campaign to get a secondary school in our area.
I have been a volunteer with Educate Together for the last 9 years. In 2007, we started out as three parents with a dream, three parents who felt passionate about our shared goal - to achieve an Educate Together Primary School in Dublin 24.
Our group grew in the next few years but not without the hard work that comes with publicity, political lobbying, fundraising, writing letters, public meetings and much more! We campaigned for nearly five years and look where we are now! In 2012, our school opened to much anticipation and excitement. Nearly four years on and our school has grown exponentially to 220 students! So, what does this mean for our second-level campaign? Instead of three parents starting an uphill battle, we've got a parent and guardian body of potentially 440 helpers!
We've GOT THIS!
A natural next step for all our children's education. All we need is YOU!
A lot of traditional schools seem to just “pop up” as and when needed in an area. Sometimes too late for too many, as our own community is experiencing. Sometimes, with luck, just on time for others. This is not the case for an Educate Together school, and indeed, never has been. They don't pop up out of nowhere. They are, for all intents and purposes, won by a start-up group of parents and guardians who often campaign and lobby for years for their ideal school for their children.
As we have all seen, an Educate Together school is a school that teaches equality, justice, child-centredness and democracy. Specifically, an Educate Together school views each student as an individual with his or her own needs and hopes. A prime example of this is the start-up group for our own primary school: we lobbied and campaigned, tirelessly, for nearly 5 years. This is apparently short compared to some other start-up groups’ campaigns. But many of the parents who worked on our campaign from the beginning were unable to use the school which opened in 2012, because unfortunately it came too late for their children - their children were too old to join our school by the time it materialised. Despite this cruel fact and devastating blow, they stayed on the campaign and worked on it until the end, volunteering their time and energy. This inspires me to this day. I have no doubt that we have our school because of these amazing people.
A lot of people take for granted that, because they are very busy, someone else will do it, someone else will campaign for a local secondary school, someone less busy. Or maybe it will just happen anyway? But I am here to tell you from my experience that great schools don’t come for free, not without people power, power in numbers, without political momentum and pressure, without community involvement and much publicity, without YOU! We need you!
In my experience volunteering with Educate Together, I didn’t encompass one single parent or guardian who wasn’t incredibly busy in their lives - with work, voluntary work, caregiving, studying, raising their children, double jobbing, or all of it!
When I joined Educate Together 9 years ago, I thought at the time that I had no skills to offer the campaign other than ambition and hope. I had no computer skills, I was shy and lacking in confidence, I thought I’d no experience to offer the campaign. However, I soon learned that not only was my contribution needed, it was also valued and appreciated. See, that’s what you’ll find in an Educate Together school campaign: everyone’s contribution is appreciated, big or small and there is an understanding that each person is doing what they can do. And if you’re not there, the same people are having to do more, even though most people have similar busy schedules, deadlines, pressures and stresses of everyday life. The old dictate remains very true: many hands make light work.
I can’t overstate how every contribution made a difference, big or little, to the overall success of our primary school start-up campaign. From marketing, fundraising, photocopying, letter writing, drawing, delivering, corporate sponsorships, politicking, publicity, cheering; it all made a difference. And the beauty of it is that it’s a grassroots movement made by ordinary people for their children’s education. In equal measure, that’s also its greatest challenge. We need our people, WE NEED YOU. Forget expensive toys and gadgets, what better gift to give to your children than your contribution to the betterment of their education?!
Another great challenge we face with our Second-level School campaign is that, at the moment, just a couple of members are incurring all the costs of stationery, paper, website fees, and other communication costs. We will change this with fundraising supports. You know the old adage - a problem shared is a problem halved!
You’ll find a co-op, not a clique; you’ll find a group of equal peers, not seniority; you’ll always find an appreciative welcome; you’ll find open minds to all kinds of ideas. You might even find, as I did, what a difference you can make. WE NEED YOU.
When I joined Educate Together many moons ago, I dared to hope and dream for an Educate Together School for both of my children. But I never could’ve imagined the wonderful experiences I had along the journey, the confidence I gained and the eventual school we got, which exceeded even my best dreams! The friendships I made for life are now invaluable to me. One way or another, no matter how much distance comes between our paths, I know I made friendships for life. I just know. And hey, we weren’t averse to the odd night off and the odd night out! We’re only human...
Let’s dare to dream for an Educate Together Secondary School for our children too, and let's put those dreams into actions together. WE NEED YOU.
You may be sensing a theme here… And at the risk of repeating myself (is it too late to apologise?!) WE really NEED YOU!
All of our primary school volunteer initiatives still need more of you too.
I will sign off with a quote that sums up Educate Together start up campaigns-
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”
Contact us at:
And please share your informal feedback with me here by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading this, looking forward to hearing from you,
Leona Mc Mahon, parent.