Kilkenny Community Early Year’s Project is the perfect example of taking a vision for the greater good and establishing a service that offers support and encouragement in a diverse setting within our community.
The involvement of likeminded hardworking people to bring an idea to life has stood strong over the last 20 years and is a testament to the outstanding services they provide due to the support guidance and love for what they are doing. People attended not only to mark the 20 years anniversary but to celebrate and thank the project for years of outstanding support and work within our community.
It was so evident looking at those in attendance that it was more than just a pre-school for families but it was a life line that is a beneficial support system that offers guidance and love.
Set up in 1996 Early Years Project was established fundamentally to target pre-school children from disadvantaged communities within Kilkenny over the last 20 years.
The project represents hope and togetherness, offering support that gives parents and children the tools to transition into mainstream school and communities.
The project recognises the difficulties and challenges many people face in life and offers support and development that benefits both parent and child.
It is clearly a loving committed project where parents and staff work together that builds around the needs of the children.
In attendance was newly elected Mayor of Kilkenny Patrick O Neill wishing them all the best in the future, Mayor O Neill said “it is fantastic to see the project celebrate 20 years in existence – it is clear to see the work they have done over the years has given children the best possible preparation before starting primary school”
Before the celebrations with face painting, music and BBQ began past parent Josephine Drennan spoke wholeheartedly of the impact the projects had in her life during a difficult time outlining the encouragement she received from staff that gave her the resources to cope.
Her words resonated with every parent in the room and like Josephine parents and children were gathered not only to celebrate a 20 year anniversary but to have to opportunity to say thank you for all the support and guidance over the last 20 years. It is this encouragement from dedicated staff that has made it a success. It is an evidence based practice that has evolved and grown that benefits children and adults.
Parents and staff learn together building self-awareness, self-esteem and confidence. What struck me most was the bond the children had irrespective of their social backrooms and the respectful partnership was obvious between parents and staff. A great day was had by all where it is obvious that the success of the project will grow in strength for years to come.