Aims & Objectives

Citywise Education is a voluntary organisation providing educational support to young people living in disadvantaged community environments. Recognising the lead role of schools in cognitive learning, Citywise Education supports that work while paying attention to other aspects of education including the emotional, social and personal development of the whole person. The following strategies currently underpin and shape Citywise Education’s work.

Citywise Education programmes operate in recognised areas of high disadvantage of West Tallaght and are open to all young people in the area.

Citywise Education recognises the under-provision of support for young people, especially those in adolescent years. It directs it resources to boys and girls aged ten years and over with a view to maintaining ongoing contact with these youth at least until they access employment.

Appreciating the negative societal impact of disaffected young males and their capacity for at-risk behaviours, Citywise Education seeks to direct increasing resources to this group. In particular, Citywise Midschool programmes are targeted at young school non-attenders and seek to help them develop emotional literacy, social skills, including values development, and educational skills necessary to take control of their lives within society.

In order to emphasise the importance of schooling, all Citywise Education programmes contain an academic content. Citywise Education also places emphasis on developing sporting and outdoor interests among its members. The Midschool and Fast Track programmes have a strong educational and academic focus.

  

Citywise Education gives priority to delivering programmes to enrolled members in an ongoing way, and on its staff acting as role models. Appreciating the importance of active programmes, Citywise seeks to avoid programmes centring solely around group discussion. Citywise Education aims to include a substantial outdoor element in its programmes. In general, Citywise Education operates independent programmes for boys and girls and separates groups on the basis of age.

The inspiration behind Citywise Education is Catholic and all Citywise programmes are open to young people of all religious backgrounds. This inspiration is primarily experienced in the respect shown to all involved with Citywise Education regardless of age or background and in the attention given to the social and moral development of all participants.

  

Citywise Education accepts that professional endeavours to change behaviour of young people in difficult environments can suffer from being too transitory. It therefore places emphasis on:

  • maintaining a person’s involvement in a programme over time
  • establishing peer support groups among those enrolled
  • leaders / staff establishing positive relationships with the young people enrolled
  • year round contact with young people
  • introducing leaders from outside the community who can empathise with youth in their care
  • growing local leaders within the community
  • encouraging members to take more responsibility for the programmes in which they participate.

Citywise Education recognises the primary role of parents in the upbringing of children and through ongoing communication seeks to assist them in that task. Citywise works in collaboration with other agencies (especially schools) in seeking to address the needs of children.

  

The general under-resourcing of Citywise Education programmes puts extra pressure on staff and volunteers alike. Citywise receives no significant state funding for any of its innovative programmes. In prioritising actions, Citywise Education gives primary attention to interaction with local schools.

Citywise Education members should not perceive themselves as being recipients of charity nor see Citywise Education in a negative light. Citywise staff and volunteers simply share with others the fruits of their educational gains. All Citywise Education members are asked to pay a nominal fee to attend programmes. Very many of Citywise staff, volunteers and members support Citywise’s Weekly Fundraising draw as a means of ensuring sustainability.

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"Volunteering with Citywise has helped to make me."

- Sean Preston
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