A new Laois Passport has been published to encourage adults and children, tourists and residents alike to explore the wonderful heritage sites of Laois this summer. The passport, produced in a collaboration between Laois Offaly Education and Training Board and Laois County Council with the support of the Heritage Council, details 7 of the heritage sites of Laois, with a space for a passport stamp each time a site is visted. Stamps are available at Timahoe Heritage Centre (and the Corner shop in Timahoe), Mountmellick Museum, Donaghmore Workhouse, Dunamaise Arts Centre and Portlaoise Tourist Ofice, Abbeyleix Heritage House and Emo Court.
Passports are availble from each of the sites featured, and the Tourist Office in Portlaoise. They are also available for collection by primary school teachers at Laois Education Centre.
The passport grew out ‘Unravelling Laois’, a Portlaoise-based family learning project, which aimed to capture some of the hidden gems of the county. ‘Unravelling Laois’ started to unfold when a group of parents in Scoil Bhríde enabled their family learning project to take on a different dimension when they developed an interest in history. The DEIS funded programme, in collaboration with the HSCL in Scoil Bhride, Adult Literacy Service in Laois Offaly ETB supported these parents in visiting a range of historical sites in Laois during the autumn months of 2017.
Laois Offaly Local Link ensured that the group arrived at each destination safely and returned everybody to the school full of imagination. After each trip, the parents reflected on their adventures through artwork and creative writing. With the encouragement of their tutors, Denise Dunne and Mary Delaney, they have created art that illustrates their new understanding of the history of this county along with compiling a book through their own book club, that captures all their experiences throughout the project.
This inspirational project is family learning in its true sense, supporting parents to help their children learn and providing them with an opportunity to develop their own learning skills.
The project developed further and it was decided that the group would publish a passport at the end of their travels, for parents to use when bringing their children to each of the sites during the summer months. This passport was taken to the next level with the support of Catherine Casey, Laois Heritage Officer, and is available to all primary schools in Laois now and is also available from the Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise Tourist and all the heritage sites the project visited.
Unravelling Laois will be exhibited in Emo Court for the summer. Drop in and don’t forget to collect your passport at reception or download it here – happy travels!