At Croí na Gaillimhe, we have just held our second 'AONTAS Adult Learning Festival'. The Festival is a national event and is run thoughout the country from the 21st - 25th February 2011.
The aim of our Adult Learning Festival is to celebrate all the different aspects of learning that take place at Croí na Gaillimhe, from bingo and sports games such as 'boccia' to Internet Workshops and line dancing classes!
As part of our Festival, our 'Learning Tree' was officially unveiled on Wednesday 23rd February by members of the Estonian ANDRAS organisation in Ireland as part of the Gruntvig exchange. ANDRAS is the non-profit organisation of Estonian Adult Educators and has worked in partnership with the Irish equivalent
As our very honoured guests, the group from Estonia helped to launch our Festival by unveiling our magnificent Learning Tree. Adult Learners at Croí na Gaillimhe Resource Centre, Society of St Vincent de Paul, decorated the tree with reflections and thoughts on their experience of learning at the Centre.
Here is just a small sample of their wonderful comments:
From a participant of Movement and Relaxation Class “Attending the centre is an amazing experience of peace and tranquility and gives a great sense of well being and connectedness”. “It is good to be active” said an older person who takes a line dancing class.
The 'Learning Tree' will be displayed at Croí na Gaillimhe throughout March. After the unveiling, a brief presentation was made to the ANDRAS group to say Thank you from the staff, volunteers and learners at the Centre.
Several of our enthusiastic learners gave a brief account of their learning experiences at Croí na Gaillimhe. They all spoke of the joy and the fun they experienced in learning and most of all, they mentioned the friendships they had made - or in many cases, renewed!
Also on the afternoon music was provided by our gifted musicians John Fallon, Padraic Keane and Sean Hughes. They gave a brief demonstration of traditional Irish music and instruments such as the uileann pipes and fiddle before playing a variety of songs and encouraging all the participants to dance.
While enjoying the display of Irish dancing - and showing great ability! - our guests - agreed to demonstrate a traditional Estonian dance. The dance proved hughly popular with everyone present and an encore was required!
An unforgettable afternoon full of full and laughter lead to a fantastic celebration - and one we will not forget in a hurry. Let's look forward to the next Adult Learning Festival and in the meantime enjoying all the classes and clubs that are still to come!