An Taoiseach Enda Kenny visited pupils in Craggagh National School, Balla, this week for the launch of the 2013-2014 Blue Star Programme; a national primary school initiative which aims to foster better understanding and knowledge of the European Union among Irish primary school pupils through classroom projects and activities. The Taoiseach was welcomed to Craggagh NS by a colourful guard of honour put on by the school’s younger pupils. During his visit, the Taoiseach met with members of the school community and was treated to an exhibition of the pupils’ Blue Star projects and artwork from the entire school.
Following the raising of the Blue Star flag, the Taoiseach spoke to the large audience of parents, teachers, and pupils, praising the hard work of all involved in the Blue Star Programme, saying, "I am delighted to be here for the raising of the Blue Star flag in Craggagh primary school. The enthusiasm and hard work of the pupils, teachers and all involved in the Blue Star programme is plain to see. Ireland's membership of the European Union has been extremely positive for the country and this programme allows children to understand how the EU works and how it affects our citizens. It does this in a really creative way by encouraging schools to engage through project work, artworks, music, culture, and food. I believe this is a great way for young people to learn about being European, as well as Irish, citizens, and that the knowledge gained will stand to them throughout their lives."
Speaking after the event, principal of Craggagh National School, Danny Charlton, mentioned the positive impact the school’s participation in the programme has had for his pupils. “Blue Star has been a fantastically beneficial project for the children of Craggagh. Geographically, we are on the periphery of Europe, but this project has brought us right to the heart of the EU. Through engaging with the Blue Star Programme, a wonderful sense of European citizenship has been cultivated and fostered among the entire school community.”