STAR Tuam is a pilot project that is a joint initiative of the Department of Education and Skills, the Department of Justice and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. This pilot project is one of many initiatives that has developed from the National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy (NTIRS) 2017 – 2021. The overarching objective of the project is to improve the attendance, participation and retention of Traveller and Roma children and young people in the Tuam area. The Tuam pilot project is made up of staff members, Bridget-marie Ward and Eimile Gavin who are Education Workers and Erin Conway who is the Home School Community Liaison Coordinator. The pilot has 3 key goals. 

The Pilot has 3 Overarching Goals that in turn direct the team

Goal 1
Students – To improve the learning experience and outcomes for Traveller and Roma students in schools in the pilot areas.

Goal 2
Parents and Guardians – To improve parental/guardian engagement with the school community and foster an appreciation of the value of education among Traveller and Roma communities.

Goal 3
Schools – To improve attendance, participation and retention with the aim of improving the educational outcomes of Traveller and Roma Students.

STAR is also involved in programmes and workshops, below are just a few of them:
  • Check and connect – A student / Teacher mentoring programme. Check & Connect is an intervention used with students who show warning signs of disengagement with school and who are at risk of dropping out. At the core of Check & Connect is a trusting relationship between the student and a caring, trained mentor who both advocates for and challenges the student to keep education salient. Students are referred to Check and Connect when they show warning signs of disengaging from school, such as poor attendance, behavioural issues, and/or low grades.
  • We offer many after-school extracurricular activities including Box-fit, arts & crafts classes, drop-in clubs, soccer programmes, wilderness programmes, gardening programmes, singing classes, music classes, guitar lessons, cooking clubs, health and fitness classes, gym programmes, walking groups and swimming programmes. If you would like a place in any of the above programmes please reach out to any of the STAR team.
  • In STAR we work closely with third-level Universities ATU and the University of Galway where we regularly attend their open days and engage our young people in projects with them.
  • We offer intensive support to our young people who are in their senior cycle and are about to transition to the next stage of their lives. This support includes CV support, employment, apprenticeship and education guidance, SUSI support, CAO support, safe-pass/ manual handling courses and liaising and advocating with employer and educational institutes and supports such as GRETB and GRD. We also support transitions from 6th class to 1st year and junior cycle to senior cycle.
  • In the STAR project, we are very fortunate to work closely with Tuam agencies who also support our families like SCP, Youth Work Ireland Tuam, Treo Nua, Family Support, Tuam Primary Health-care Programme, GRD, GRETB and Bru Bhride Youth Project.
  • Our parents are supported through home visits, phone-calls, in-school meetings, food-cloud donations and projects. We are currently running a parent’s morning every Tuesday morning in TPS Campus 3. Where parents have the opportunity to relax, learn new skills and make new relationships.  There is also a parent’s fitness class every Friday morning in Campus 3. If you would like to more information on these classes please contact our HSCLC.

This is just a snapshot of some of the activities we get up to in STAR, please keep an eye on our Facebook page in the link below where we regularly post updates of what we get up to.