Mill Strand Integrated School in Portrush was founded in 1987 in the midst of the Northern Irish troubles. It was set up by parents who wanted to educate their children in a new way all together, with no segregation between Protestants and Catholics.
One of the most crucial developments in Northern Ireland in recent years has been the founding of integrated schools like Mill Strand. Integrated Education embraces a specific ethos, concerned with self-respect and respecting others – regardless of religion, culture or background. Children are encouraged to appreciate both what they have in common and how they differ and to be at ease with both.
Because Mill Strand was founded by parents, the Parent Council was established before the school even opened – with the aim of mobilising parental support for the school and organising fundraising activities in order to provide resources. As one parent comments:
The funds raised by the Parent Council are used to make school more safe, fun and enjoyable for the pupils and also to foster the school community. As with all schools – budgets are very tight and there is no money in the kitty for ‘extras’. It is wonderful that we are able to help staff purchase extra things that help make the school day a more fun, supportive environment. As well as a free summer family fun day we also provide support and refreshments for parents, pupils and staff at school carol service, concerts, sports days and open days to encourage a sense of community and friendship.”
Other funds raised by the group this year have been used to purchase a ‘buddy bench’ for the school playground and high-visibility vests to keep students safe when they are working outdoors. This year, they hope to raise enough to support a specialist mindfulness programme for pupils.
Mill Strand Integrated School Parent Council has now joined up with easyfundraising to raise even more funds to better support their school. They send home a newsletter to every family each month with the details of easyfundraising and also share the link on their Facebook page. So far, they have raised nearly £400, simply be encouraging their school community to do all their online shopping through the site.
Please do sign up with easyfundraising today, and help to support the Mill Strand Parent Council continue their important work within this inspirational school.
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