Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68 Page 69 Page 70 Page 71 Page 72 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 80 Page 81 Page 82 Page 83 Page 84 Page 85 Page 86 Page 87 Page 88 Page 89 Page 90 Page 91 Page 92 Page 93 Page 94 Page 95 Page 96 Page 97 Page 98 Page 99 Page 100 Page 101 Page 102 Page 103 Page 104 Page 105 Page 106 Page 107 Page 108 Page 109 Page 110 Page 111 Page 112 Page 113 Page 114 Page 115 Page 116 Page 117 Page 118 Page 119 Page 12011 connect 2016 | THE CHERRY ORCHARD COMMUNITY IN DUBLIN IS FILLED WITH HARDWORKING PEOPLE AND PARENTS. It is also a community that faces many challenges. St. Ultan’s lives in the shadow of Wheatfield prison. It is not uncommon for some chil- dren to proudly show photos of themselves dressed in first communion garb while standing in front of the prison gates where fathers, uncles and brothers are serving sentences. Drugs, violence, poverty and unemployment affect the homes of many of the young children who attend St. Ultan’s. Some parents have been early-leave tak- ers from their own education and have traditionally viewed school with suspicion arising from negative past experiences. As a result, the school has taken on those challenges head-on. In part by focusing on building relationships with parents and care- givers, St. Ultan’s is finding success. With help from The Ireland Funds, St. Ultan’s is delivering many unique offerings to its students including integrated prevention and early intervention services in partnership with parents, families, the community and service providers. Two distinct teams based around Caregiving and Education work closely together to ensure that children have their needs met. In addition to the core lessons around reading, writing and maths, hot balanced meals are served, healthcare is provided and life- skills are taught as part of the curriculum. Every child receives musical training and arts lessons, mindfulness and meditation skills are imparted to combat stress and cooking and hygiene lessons are also provided. Par- ents come to the school for regular drop-in mornings to share breakfast and connect with teachers and one another. It has served as a key community-building activity and provides a chance for families to interact informally with the school reinforcing positive relationships. St. Ultan’s offers a single-campus approach serving children and families from infants through to 18 years old, a unique model in Ireland. Transition between primary and secondary school has been identified as a particularly stressful and vulnerable time for children. With funding from The Ireland Funds, transitional programs that mentor and tutor children through this period have shown great success and impact. “Investment in navigating transition was needed and we couldn’t have run this program, or the afterschool homework pro- gram, without the help of The Ireland Funds,” explains John Scanlon, Community Services Manager at St. Ultan’s. “We’ve found that if kids can stay and pass the first and second year, they’ve cleared the biggest hurdles and the momentum is there to keep going towards college. The Ireland Funds are helping these children maximize their future potential.” St. Ultan’s celebrates its 10 year anniver- sary in 2016. In that short time the campus has grown from 56 students to well over 500. But the growth is measured in far more than numbers and graduates. As Sue McLough- lin, a local member of the Cherry Orchard community says, “St. Ultan’s has changed the community. It has changed my family. The vision this place has for children is real. It has touched every part of our lives.”