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Minister’s paws during school visit

The Education Minister took time out of her schedule to meet a dog in Headford – who has become an important part of the learning process in a school!

The dog, named Yaida, has been embraced by the students of Presentation College as one of their own.

Minister Norma Foley, accompanied by local councillor Mary Hoade, met the Labrador Retriever cross when they visited the school.

Yaida came to the school from the Irish Guide Dogs in Cork under the relatively new initiative of placing working dogs in school communities throughout the country.

According to the school, the dog can provide “a source of inspiration and motivate students” to bring joy to their community.

The school said that Yaida can provide therapeutic benefit to support the mental needs and wellbeing of some students.

The school has more than 800 students and is highly regarded as one of the best in the country when it comes to academic results.

That is why Cllr Hoade invited the Minister to the school in order to progress the application for a new school for Headford as well as welcoming the new ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) class for children with autism.

The Fianna Fail councillor said that the Minister was a welcome visitor to the school and was happy that she would progress the development of the new structure.

“Minister Foley was treated to a sample of the abundant musical talent in the school as well as having an opportunity to meet with Leaving Cert students and some students in the school’s ASD class rooms.

“The Board has made representations to the Department of Education and the Minister’s visit coincides with some good news.

“It also has been suggested that the school will be provided with some modern modular buildings to significantly upgrade the ASD facilities as well as adding some administrative amenities.

“These will help to improve the day-to-day operation of the school while the promised new build takes shape over the coming years,” added Cllr Hoade.

Pictured: Minister Norma Foley petting Yaida at Presentation College, Headford with minder and teacher Padraic Gilmore.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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