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04-02-2015

Blue Star Programme teachers receive European Citizen’s Prize, Askeaton, Co. Limerick, 4 February 2015

"It was a great honour to nominate the Blue Star Programme for the Citizen's Prize and even better honour that the nomination was successful. As a former teacher myself, I appreciate the magnificent work, much of it on a voluntary basis that the teachers do in our schools. At a time when there is much negativity about the EU, it is great that the Blue Star programme gives the opportunity to pupils, parents & indeed the wider community to learn about the real work of the European Institutions & Member States of the Union..."

Blue Star programme teachers were presented with the European Citizen’s Prize medal by Sean Kelly MEP on Wednesday 4 February. The presentation took place at Askeaton Senior School, Askeaton, Co. Limerick. Sean Kelly MEP nominated the Blue Star programme which is now in its fourth year and aims to introduce participants (pupils, teachers, parents and the wider community) to the EU; what it means and how it works. The national co-ordinating body for the programme for the next three years is European Movement Ireland. So far, the Programme is managed by European Movement Ireland, and has already involved over 320 schools and 20,000 school children across Ireland. The Blue Star Programme is a joint venture of the Communicating Europe Initiative, supported by the Office of the Minister of State for European Affairs in the Department of the Taoiseach, the European Commission Representation in Ireland and the European Parliament Information Office in Ireland.

Sean Kelly said “"It was a great honour to nominate the Blue Star Programme for the Citizens Prize and even better honour that the nomination was successful.

As a former teacher myself, I appreciate the magnificent work, much of it a voluntary basis that the teachers do in our schools. At a time when there is much negativity about the EU, it is great that the Blue Star programme gives the opportunity to pupils, parents & indeed wider community to learn about the real work of the European Institutions & Member States of the Union.

Having visited many schools and seen the wonderful projects first hand, I decided to nominate the Blue Star Programme for the Citizen's Prize. I am very pleased and proud that this great work is now being officially recognised in Europe through this most prestigious award - only, the second ever for Ireland."

Joe Bishop, Blue Star programme manager, said “This is a huge honour for all of the Irish national school teachers involved in Blue Star since 2011. As the co-ordinator of the programme, European Movement Ireland is delighted to see the hard-working and dedicated Blue Star teachers getting recognition for their outstanding work in national schools throughout Ireland with the awarding of the prestigious European Parliament’s European Citizen's Prize.”

“To date more than 320 schools throughout Ireland, and more than 20,000 pupils have been involved in the Blue Star programme and we are delighted to see the teachers’ hard work being recognised here today” added Mr Bishop.


Notes for Editors

About the Blue Star Programme:
The Blue Star Programme is a joint venture of the Communicating Europe Initiative, supported by the Office of the Minister of State for European Affairs in the Department of the Taoiseach, the European Commission Representation in Ireland and the European Parliament Information Office in Ireland.

The Blue Star Programme aims to introduce participants (pupils, teachers, parents and the wider community) to the EU; what it means and how it works. The Programme also aims to foster a strong sense of awareness of the EU among its participants that reaches far beyond the school walls and out into the community. The national co-ordinating body for the programme for the next three years is European Movement Ireland.

The objective of the Blue Star Programme, now in its fourth year, is to foster better understanding and knowledge, by Irish primary pupils, of how the European Union affects our lives. To date, the Programme, which is managed by European Movement Ireland, has already involved over 320 schools and 20,000 school children across Ireland. Visit www.bluestarprogramme.ie for more.