Pictured at the Mary Immaculate College annual Student Parent Christmas Party meeting Santa himself was 6 year old Elom and his sister Mkafu (4).
Santa Claus came to town and made a special detour to Mary Immaculate College last week (7 December) to come to the MIC Student Parent Christmas Party where he had a picnic with the children, joined in storytelling and even learned how to “Jingle Bell Rock”.
The event—the first after a break due to the pandemic—was organised by Rob O’Halloran (Path 3 Project Officer) and Jeannette Ferguson (Student Academic Administration) who embarked on recreating the magic of Christmas for student parents and their children.
“We were so delighted to have had this event on campus for the first time in three years. The MIC student parents are a very impressive and dedicated group of students who work extremely hard to attain their degree whilst also caring for their families, so it was nice to offer up something small at Christmas time. This group includes parents from the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Education, postgraduate programmes and the mature student cohorts,” explained Rob.
“Picnic with Santa was a huge success and so many departments as well as Mary Immaculate Students’ Union (MISU) contributed. Professor Eugene Wall, President of MIC, made a guest appearance and spent some time talking with students and their families, though his lack of a Christmas jumper was noted. Of course, we have to thank Santa Claus himself for showing up to read two stories to the kids at his busiest time of year! We’re already looking forward to next year.”
“This year’s event was about capturing the essence of Christmas, spending quality time with other students in an informal setting and making all of our students and their families feel welcome,” Jeannette added.
The organisers extended special thanks to: Eadaoin Shanahan and the MISU Team for providing the refreshments and selection boxes for the children; Path 1 Project Officer, Megan Waters for her help on the day; the President’s Office, as well as Professor Lorraine McIlrath and the EDII team for their continued support and financial assistance in covering some of the costs of the event.
MIC student volunteers played a large part in the event. Zara O’Donnell and Yasna Tofail from the BA in Contemporary and Applied Theatre Studies taught the children how to “Jingle Bell Rock”. 2023 has been a very special year for the BA in Early Childhood Care and Education, celebrating 20 years since the programme launched and First Year BA ECCE students, Lauran Casey-Nolan and Roisin Bracken, showcased the creative talents of these students with children treated to face painting, making Christmas decorations and Christmas crafts. Dr Mary Moloney, Programme Coordinator of the BA ECCE and lecturer, Dr Jennifer Pope, Lecturer in the Dept. of Reflective Pedagogy & Early Childhood Studies, were also in attendance.