Its that time of year again. We’re squeezing out the last drops of summer sun, the days are starting to clip back a notch, and traffic has increased tenfold as schools across the country open their doors to another school year. Things are a little different this year due to the pandemic that continues to linger, but worry not, the Dogs Trust Education team still plan on teaching children across the country. Like many, we’ve had to adapt and make some changes, but educating kids on dog safety is still our top priority, and we’re excited to get back to it.
So, on today’s blog, we thought we might reintroduce you to our team, remind you of what we’re about, and rehash the methods you must undertake, to nab your school a workshop.
Our Education and Community Officers have been visiting primary schools across the country for over ten years, delivering FREE workshops on how to be safe around dogs. We have dozens of workshops, and we all have a number of regulars; schools that we visit every year building upon what we’ve covered in the past. So even if we’ve visited before, rest assured there is more to learn. It is so important that every child knows how to be safe around dogs, and this is not just a lesson for young children. Our workshops cater for the entirety of primary schools, from Junior infants to Sixth class.
This is a newer venture. Last spring, we launched our Secondary School workshop in Ethics, and it was a massive hit. This workshop teaches teenagers about animal welfare through critical thinking and ethical dilemmas. Although this workshop is extremely popular with transition year classes, it is suitable for secondary classes across the board.
This is the horrible paragraph. The one we’d rather we didn’t have to write, but we need to address the elephant hound in the room. How do we conduct workshops safely in the current climate? Our answer; as safely as possible. We have a rundown of our Covid protocol on our workshops page which you can read here. And if you would still prefer we didn’t visit in person, we still have one more option for you…
Naturally the last sixteen months has been difficult on us all, but one of the brighter things to come from the pandemic, is a nationwide fluency with zoom, and virtual meetings. Back when the schools were off, we adapted all our workshops so they could be taught via zoom. Now that schools are back, this may still be a preferred option for some, but the really exciting aspect of this is, we can now teach any school in the country, as long as they have an internet connection. Our five Education and Community Officers are based all over Ireland, but even still, there are still some spots on the map that we can’t reach…or should we say, couldn’t reach. We can now officially say that we can reach every school in Ireland with our workshops (as long as they have an internet connection), which has been a goal of ours since our Inception. And that can only be a good thing, right?
So, you’ve heard what we’ve got on offer. Now lets reintroduce you to the team that will deliver.
Dawn, our Senior Education officer based in the South West
Dawn delivers workshops in Cork, Limerick, and all those pretty counties in South West Munster. If this is your district, you can contact Dawn here.
Audrey, our Dublin and the East Education and Community Officer
Audrey is often referred to solely as our Dublin Officer, but she’s more versatile than that. She also delivers workshops to Louth, Monaghan and parts of Meath and Kildare. With such a big district she gets booked up fast, so if you want a visit from Audrey, contact her today here.
Paul, Our midlands Education and Community Officer
Paul visits all those middle counties. The ancient East its sometimes referred to…though not as East as Dublin. And not Waterford. So…that leaves Westmeath, Offaly, Longford, Laois, Cavan and parts of Meath and Kildare. And some of Leitrim too. Phew. Contact Paul here.
Heather, our South East Education and Community Officer
Heather, who you may remember from last week’s blog post, covers the sunny South East. These include the counties Waterford, Wexford, Wicklow, Tipperary and Kilkenny. If this is where your school is located, and you’d like heather to come visit, you can contact her here.
Aoife, our Galway and Connacht Education and Community Officer.
Now, Aoife is offering something a little different, at least for the time being. Typically, Aoife reigns in the west, and thus Galway/Sligo/Mayo; she’s got you covered. However at the moment, Aoife isn’t currently offering in-person workshops. She can however, offer virtual workshops here, OR…and this is exciting, she can also offer Irish workshops virtually*, to any county in Ireland. So, if you’re a Gaelscoil, or if you’re a regular school who fancies some workshops in Irish, Aoife’s the Officer for you. Catch her here.
Fiona, our Education Manager
Fiona doesn't visit schools anymore. She's too busy looking after all our amazing campaigns, projects and developments. But we thought it might be nice to upload her photo with the lovely Ollie.
And there you have it. We can’t wait for another term of Dog Safety workshops. See you on the road!
*This only applies to primary schools. Unfortunately, we can only offer our Ethics workshop in English