Education Success Stories

Zurich Employees Inspire Young Readers

Zurich will be celebrating the third year of their strong partnership with St. John of God NS, Wexford as part of Time to Read this coming September. Principal of St. John of God NS, Liam Turner has praised the influence of the enthusiastic Zurich volunteers have had on the children involved: “As a DEIS school having positive adult role-models in and around books, reading and the enjoyment of all things literary is priceless.” Zurich Ireland first got involved in 2014 with their Dublin head office in Ballsbridge, paired with St. Brigid’s Primary, Haddington Road. Having seen the huge benefits of the programme, the following year Zurich expanded their involvement in the Time to Read to their Blackrock office which was matched with St. Kevin’s NS, Sallynoggin. In 2016, their Drinagh office in Wexford partnered with St. John of God NS. Wexford employees have thoroughly enjoyed getting involved with the local...

Focusing students for the Future – Communicorp Media

Like all good ideas, the concept for the Skills @ Work programme is simple, a business is matched with a local school and employees provide insight about their roles and work life to the students while also developing their own skills. Communicorp Media has been doing just this with Our Lady of Mercy, Secondary School, Drimnagh, Dublin 12, since 2012 and they have also recently decided to expand their involvement with the programme to another partner school, St. Marks Community School, Tallaght, Dublin 24. This expansion will tie in with their CSR Community Pillar, “Opening Doors” initiative. Communicorp Media owns and operates a portfolio of media channels with a strong focus on commercial radio (such as 98FM, Newstalk, Today FM, SPIN 1038 and SPIN South West) and emerging digital media. We spoke with Sadie Larkin, Community Project Director, Communicorp Media & the Iris O’Brien Foundation, to learn more about Communicorp...

Abbott encourages Teachers towards STEM

Abbott recently held 3 STEM ‘Seeing is Believing’ days for local teachers in Sligo/Mayo, Longford and Do negal. They welcomed science teachers and guidance counsellors to their diagnostic facilities in Finisklin Business Park, Sligo; Lisnamuck, Longford Town and their diabetes facility in Lurganboy, Donegal Town. The one-day visit to each location is part of our BITCI STEM ‘Seeing is Believing’ initiative. Seeing is Believing supports ‘Smart Futures’, a collaborative industry and education framework raising awareness of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) careers at post-primary level. The goal of Seeing is Believing is to give STEM teachers and guidance counsellors a deep and engaging insight into leading STEM sector companies and the innovative and diverse range of opportunities and careers that exist within the local region. Working with leading local STEM sector companies, it is a one-day tour with a series of talks from employees in the sector. The Seeing...

Time to Count goes Nationwide

“Opened my eyes to the community around myself, allowed me to develop skills I would never get the chance to develop within an office.” – Volunteer Dr. Eleanor Walsh, Assistant Manager & Time to Count, Programme Coordinator, BITCI gives an important update on our Time to Count roll out. Were you interested in numbers and maths when you were a child? Would you enjoy sharing this love of maths? We need YOUR company to provide volunteers with a love for numbers to help local primary school children nationwide explore and develop a love of maths for themselves. Our Time to Count Steering Group has recommended a national rollout of the Time to Count programme due to the success of the extended pilot programme which took place last Spring. BITCI would like to sincerely thank all those who took part. In particular, the funder the ESB Energy for Generation Fund who...

Student Work Experience- What’s in it for the company?

Work experience is an integral part of any student’s education. It provides them an opportunity to reflect on their own development and gives exposure to career options, the work place environment and networking. But what’s in it for the company? Anita Power, HR Manager, Dulux Paints shares her views on providing Student Work Experience. Anita Power thinks it’s as advantageous to Dulux as the students. “At Dulux Paints Ireland Limited we endeavor to support our local communities through our employees giving back to projects by giving their time and expertise with particular emphasis in the area of education programmes. Business in the Community’s Skills @ Work programme fits these criteria exactly and it is a programme that our employees have enthusiastically embraced.” As part of Dulux’s participation in the Skills @ Work programme, they have offered 2 weeks paid work experience to four students from their partnering schools...

Endless Adventures at the Local Library

“The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.” ― Albert Einstein By getting involved with the Time to Read programme, businesses give children the opportunity to learn and grow through reading. To ensure this continues long after Time to Read finishes, a visit to the school’s local Library is included in the programme to show the children and their families the amazing free resources they can utilise by themselves. We chatted to some of the Librarians who we have worked with to get their view on why it is still so important to encourage children to use their local libraries in a time when any information they may need is at the fingertips through technology. Laura Joyce, Senor Librarian at Lucan Library sees how encouraging children to use their local library and read as much as possible can have a lasting effect throughout...

Giving the Gift of Reading: Davy

We speak to Paul Boland, Davy who returns to his former Primary School, O’ Connell CBS, Dublin 1 to take part in Time to Read. What has been a highlight of taking part in Time to Read for you so far? The energy and enthusiasm in which the children, school and parents engaged with the programme and its objectives. Also meeting Ms. Patsy O’ Keefe and Mr. Masterson again and witnessing all the improvements and fantastic work that is being done by the school for the people of the local area. L-R Joanne Hartnett, Davy; Callum & Lennon, Paul Boland, Davy How do you think the children in the school now compare to you at that age? I was very impressed with both the standard of reading, and the attitude to reading of the boys. I feel that very few children at the school now would be at risk...

The Pendulum of Mentoring in Limerick

Dr. Eleanor Walsh, BITCI reflects on what inspires volunteers to take part in the Student Mentoring programme. This programme has expanded in Limerick, thanks to basis.point funding and companies supporting their local community in this meaningful way. Thanks X Factor! When we go to talk to students these days about having a mentor there is very little additional explanation needed – since the advent of X factor they all know what it involves. The only down side is that our business volunteer mentors are under pressure (a small bit!) to be the next Louis Walsh, Simon Cowell, Sharon Osbourne or Cheryl! But this indeed is a task that they rise to, as they praise the students for their efforts at their school work, help them get organised and focused and introduce them to new people and places in an effort to help them reach their potential. Lucky students! Currently in...

Generation Apprenticeship: Suir Engineering

Paul Cremmins, Director, Suir Engineering speaks about his recent contribution to our Management Excellence for Teachers Programme. Paul delivered a seminar highlighting the many apprenticeship opportunities’ in the construction industry, in particular in Suir Engineering. This seminar was delivered to Guidance Counsellors in the South East region. In addition to this seminar Paul also established links with future employees by visiting schools. Tell us how you engage the future talent pipeline: Over the past two years I have been visiting secondary schools to speak to students & career counsellors about apprenticeships and construction studies. This provides an excellent opportunity to discuss the blended education system associated with apprenticeships as opposed to the independent and practice led learning associated with regular 3rd level education. It also allows me the opportunity to explain the requirements necessary to qualify for an apprenticeship and the commitment to ensure qualification at the end of the...

Company Spotlight: Elavon

Elavon has been involved with Time to Read at two separate sites, Arklow, Co. Wicklow and Loughlinstown, Co. Dublin since the pilot in 2011. We wanted to find what the impacts and benefits on their involvement over the last six years. We spoke with Maria Carroll, European Portfolio Planner EPMO, Elavon on why the company continues to be involved; “Since the very beginning the value of Time to Read was evident. Every year a new group of children get the benefit of picking up a book and taking some time out of the day to read, which is becoming more important for children and adults.” From a company perspective, Maria also sees how the volunteers benefit from taking part; “We see the positive impact the sense of giving-back brings to our volunteers. This is truly a wonderful and very worthwhile program that has a positive impact on everybody involved.”...