An intergenerational project by Fifth Class pupils at St Joseph’s NS which was run in conjunction with the Bealtaine Festival and in association with residents and day-care attendees from St Joseph’s Care Centre in Longford town was brought to life recently when the pupils created a book entitled “Memory Boxes” based on the stories told to them by those at St Joseph’s. The pupils then set about bringing those stories to life through re-enactment and the subsequent recording of those wonderful memories on film through role-play and table top film boxes.
A very special event to mark the project’s success was then held at St Joseph’s Care Centre last week, where all those who participated were provided with a unique opportunity to read the new book and to encapsulate their memories once again as the pupils acted, sang and entertained them for the afternoon.
Facilitator Chris Thompson said, “The girls [pupils] responded to the stories they had heard by creating biographies of their ‘local heroes’; they were fascinated to find out about ‘Peggy’s Legs’ sweets and what is was like not to have a television or play station and also they were eagar to learn more about dances and fair days”.
Ms Thompson went on to say that in preparation for meeting with the residents of St Joseph’s, the pupils at St Joseph’s NS explored creative writing about themselves and developed “some very unusual poems” as a result.
The book resulted in the compilation of a history of Co Longford – north and south – where information on local forges, agricultural life, the development of the motor car and the hardships people faced in Ireland over 50 years ago were recorded in a special book, created and designed by the pupils. “The girls really enjoyed sharing stories with all their local heroes,” Ms Thompson added. “The stories gave them a lot to think about and helped them to realise that so much has changed. They chose five stories to turn into the Memory Box and table top film boxes. They made sets and characters for their stories and then we helped them with the filming. The project has added a fascinating dimension and we would like to thank the teachers at St Joseph’s NS; Josie Rowley, St Joseph’s Care Centre; Shane Crossan who helped make the recordings and all the local heroes who inspired the girls with their wonderful stories.” During the event last week, the pupils also sang and danced, while others provided some fantastic musical entertainment on recorders and other instruments.