Covid has not stopped one school in Dundalk from using every skill available to them to help out those in need this Christmas.
Two separate groups have publications on offer for the Christmas market, and both are equally worthy.
Sixth year Art students, under the guidance of their teacher local artist Fergal Kilkenny, have created a beautiful cookbook, full of their favourite recipes, but also their artistic interpretations of the same dishes. The girls each brought a recipe from home, not from any other cookbook, then designed the layout of the presentation of their recipe, and painted all the illustrations themselves.
The books are on sale from the school for €10 each and all proceeds go to three worthy charities, Doras, Shine and Breast Cancer Ireland. Books can be ordered by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org putting ‘Cookbook’ in the subject box. Students Mia and Ellen were delighted to be part of the initiative. Ellen said: ‘It was lovely to be involved in this project this year. We have been studying art since first year and it is a really lovely way to remember our classmates forever. The fact that the funds are going to charity is important to us this year when so many families have been affected so adversely by the difficulties surrounding COVID-19.’ Mia agreed: ‘Ellen and I got the chance to design the front cover which was great – and we hadn’t really worked with watercolour markers that much before so it was lovely to have the chance to exploit the new medium. It also means of course that I have all my Christmas presents sorted for this year!’
The other book is a world away from cooking. Three TY students took it upon themselves this year to write a children’s book about bullying and how to cope with it. They took direction from a PDST published course for SPHE on Assertiveness and created three characters Little, Large and Level-Headed. The book gently guides children through a series of scenarios and presents a solution to them where everyone feels happy, the bully too. It was written by Sarah Dunne and Éadaoin Drumgoole, and the illustrations are by Zara Woods. Dundalk Credit Union liked their book so much that they agreed to print it for the girls, and another local business, The Digital Bakery, owned by Gwen Noone, created a website for the girls. 25% of their profits will be shared between two worthy local charities who help children, Women’s Aid the Playroom Project, and SOSAD.
Sarah Dunne is delighted with the book. ‘When we started on this project we never imagined we would actually have a book in print at the end of the process. But here we are! It is selling really well and anyone who has bought it has loved it for the simplicity of the message and the beautiful illustrations.’ Zara the illustrator was invited on board when the book was completed. ‘It has been a really interesting process. I never realised before how important the illustrations in a book are.
When I read the girls’ book I immediately saw the characters in my head and it has been great fun to bring them to life.’ The book was picked up by The Late Late Toy Show and featured prominently from start to finish on the show. Books are available from the website szestories.com, priced at €6.99 with postage anywhere in the country for €2.50. They can also be collected locally to save on postage.