We were lucky enough to meet a local hero this week. Jennifer Byrne, the Rose of Tralee, came to visit Stepping Stones Early Learning Centre.
In preparation for this visit we learnt about the role of the Rose of Tralee and Jennifer’s role as a doctor, prior to becoming Rose of Tralee. This sparked many questions from the children which they were only too happy to ask Jennifer on her arrival. Questions included ‘How did you get on the telly?’, ‘How did you get to be a doctor?’ and ‘What hospital do you work in?’ Jennifer answered all questions ensuring each child’s voice was heard and acknowledged. The children warmed to Jennifer instantly and it was clear to see that Jennifer’s caring nature had a very positive impact on the children’s learning.
Jennifer demonstrated how powerful her role as an ambassador is for young children as they were besotted with her. Jennifer instilled many positive qualities we model for children such as giving her complete attention to the children, smiling, being open towards the children and just having fun. Since the competition in August, it has been a continuous point of interest for the children as some of them know Jennifer personally. We were delighted when we heard she was going to come and visit as we felt the children would have the opportunity to experience the powerfulness of community spirit and the pride of representing not only your country but your local community. Aistear and Síolta see children as being active citizens in in their community and we always endeavour to promote this when and where possible.
The children took great pride in showing Jennifer around their preschool and presented her with a gift that they made together. Jennifer’s show of appreciation also gave the children a sense of pride in their work and will inspire them to continue to be creative.
This celebration also provided us with the opportunity to involve parents. We had many parents take time out of their busy schedules to share this experience with their child and see first-hand the positive impact it had on their child’s learning and development.
The morning was a huge success and this would not have been so if it had not been for the charismatic Jennifer and the parents who contributed to the celebration.
We can’t thank Jennifer enough for providing the children with this opportunity.