Parents seek €2m online for school
Parents at a Co Clare primary school are calling for a million people around the world to “crowd-fund” a new school.
Mol on Óige Steiner National School in Ennistymon launched the €2 million online fundraising campaign by putting the word out on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
With the 120-pupil school currently housed in Portacabins on a borrowed site, teachers say classrooms are “cold and damp in winter and too hot and stuffy in summer”.
They say space is extremely limited with no dedicated library facilities, no assembly hall and only a hard-surfaced yard on which children can play. Although plans for a new school at a new site have been drawn up, parents say they can’t afford to move there. They say it could be five years before the Department of Education would fund a school, so they are seeking to fund it themselves.
“€2 million sounds like an immense number, but when you consider the online reach of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, it’s not so big at all,” said project manager Stuart Woolley. “Facebook has over a billion accounts. All we’re asking is that one million people who identify with our cause give us €2 each.”
Set up in 2005 by like-minded parents and teachers who wanted to educate their children using the Steiner-Waldorf education method, the school gained temporary recognition from the Department of Education in 2008. It hopes to gain permanent recognition this year.
Steiner-Waldorf schools aim to provide “a holistic education for the head, the heart and the hands” with teaching methods designed to inspire lifelong learning. There are some 15 such kindergartens and schools in Ireland.