Trip to National Stud and Japanese Gardens

Adult Learners from the Intensive Tuition in Adult Basic Education (ITABE) programme recently enjoyed a trip to the National Stud, Co. Kildare.  Learners were given an interesting tour of the National Stud and also visited the Japanese Gardens.  It was a very enjoyable day.

Portlaoise and Mountmellick ITABE Groups with tutor Sinéad Kelly

Let’s Get Talking – Fáilte Isteach

The Fáilte Isteach Project has opened its doors in Portlaoise.  Fáilte Isteach (Third Age Foundation) is a unique project which utilises the skills, talents and expertise of older volunteers.  It harnesses their desire to contribute positively to society and make a difference by providing conversational English classes for new migrants.  The classes are taught by voluntary tutors from the local community and take place very Wednesday afternoon from 2.00-4.00pm in the Respond Community Building, Mill Court, Portlaoise.  To date Approximately 35 students and 10 volunteers have been participating in the project .  The Portlaoise Fáilte Isteach project is overseen by representatives from Co. Laois VEC, Laois Partnership Co. and Respond Housing Association.
According to volunteer tutor Agnes Conroy the Fáilte Isteach project ‘gives us an opportunity to welcome our European neighbours and make people feel welcome’.   Fellow tutor Anne Payne commented ‘I am amazed at the great efforts people are making to learn the English language’.  One student who has been benefiting from the project is Elena Buga from Moldova who said ‘I love the relaxed and friendly environment and every week I learn more English’.  Jason Delaney , Respond Housing Association also commented by saying ‘we are very happy to be involved in this project as it has a positive impact on the integration of people from other countries into the community’.
Fáilte Isteach recently celebrated the opening of its 50th branch in Ireland.  Thirty participants from Portlaoise attended the celebrations in Dublin City Hall with speakers Kathleen Lynch TD, Pat Cox Former President of the European Parliament, Denis O’ Brien Founder of the Iris O’ Brien Foundation and MC Michael Ó Muircheartaigh.

ESOL learner Adult Learning Centre, Co. Laois VEC Jiang Wanling who also attends the Portlaoise branch of Fáilte Isteach chats with Michael Ó Muircheartaigh at the Third Age Fáilte Isteach Celebrations in Dublin City Hall.