Baile An Chuilin and Borris National School are celebrating being named Junior and Senior County Winners respectively of the prestigious national art competition, Someone Like Me, which will see them join 46 other schools to compete for the much sought-after national title at the national awards ceremony to be held at Dublin City Hall on Wednesday 17th January 2024.
Now in its eighth year, the Someone Like Me art competition, which is organised by the National Disability Authority, attracted more than 2,200 entries from national schools across the length and breadth of the country.
The competition was created as part of the National Disability Authority’s work to nurture more positive attitudes towards persons with disabilities and, to date, it has seen more than 17,500 children take part in lesson plans and pupil activities designed to challenge our young people to appreciate and respect similarities and differences in people.
The three-person judging panel comprising Ann Higgins, principal of Hospital School Children’s Health Ireland; Dr Carly Cheevers, senior research officer at the National Disability Authority; and Laura McGrath, an autism class teacher was particularly impressed with the entries from Baile An Chuilin and Borris National School, selecting them as County Winners based on their insightful and inspirational responses to the theme of ‘Someone Like Me’.
Congratulating Baile An Chuilin and Borris National School on being named County Winners, Minister of State with responsibility for disability, Anne Rabbitte T.D. said that the number of entries this year is a tribute to the commitment not just of the National Disability Authority, but also to Ireland’s primary school teachers, who continue to play an important part helping to create an ever-more inclusive Ireland.
“Every year more and more of our young people take part in the Someone Like Me Art Competition, working their way through cross-curricular lesson plans and learning resources which have been specially designed to challenge and inspire. The number and standard of entries shows a real commitment on the part of teachers and pupils to helping to develop a shared understanding of how we should treat others in a caring, sensitive and inclusive way, promoting a sense of belonging and connectedness.” she said.
“This year we placed a special emphasis on nurturing a greater understanding of non-visible and intellectual disabilities. Many people with a non-visible disability face the everyday prospect of having to explain to others that they have a disability; something they may not always want to do.
“Selecting the county winners was not an easy task for the judges and choosing an overall winner will be an even harder job. And, while I know it will be an anxious wait for the pupils and teachers to hear which of the 48 county winners will be awarded the national title, every pupil should be congratulated for helping to enable each and every single person in Ireland to feel a valued member of society.”
Baile An Chuilin and Borris National School will now go on to compete with 46 other schools from around the country for the overall national Someone Like Me award which will be announced at the national awards ceremony to held at Dublin City Hall on Wednesday 17th January 2023.
The competition, which offers a range of prizes up to the value of €1,250, was open to all primary school pupils from junior infants to sixth class and more than 2,200 entries were received from individual pupils, class groups and whole schools right across Ireland. Entries ranged from posters and collages to large sculptural installations and multi-media pieces.