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Celtic Adventures for kids returns to Elms

CHICOPEE The Irish Cultural Center at Elms College is accepting registrations for its tenth annual Celtic Adventures for Kids, July 26-30 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Children in grades one through nine take part in several classes daily: the Maguire Center swimming pool is also available for daily use. Coordinated by Mary Ellen O'Brien the classes include: Irish dancing, music, including singing Irish tunes, playing the tin whistle and the bodhran, Irish language, storytelling/literature, and arts and crafts. One of the founders of the Center, Tom Moriarty, said, "This program is a unique contribution in 'keeping the Irish arts alive.' We introduce children to the Irish language, culture and heritage. Cost is $200 per child; $20 discount for Irish Cultural Center members; $20 discount for each additional child from the same family. A $50 non-refundable deposit with registration is due immediately; balance is due by July 9. Email: irishcenter@elms.edu or call 265-2537 for further information and/or a registration form. Check out our web site: www.irish-cairde.org On one day each year visiting musicians demonstrate for the children the various instruments and types of jigs and reels. For several years Mike Carney also taught a session on Irish football. Some experienced senior campers will return to volunteer to assist the staff with the younger children. The culmination of the week will be a celebration of what they have learned on July 30 at 2 p.m. in the Dooley Center, where proud parents, grandparents and siblings will gather to see a program showcasing what they have learned during the week. In 2000 Sister Kathleen Keating, president of the Elms College at the time and another one of the founders of the Irish Cultural Center, dreamed a dream a dream of young people learning about Irish culture and heritage through a fun program. Sister Kathleen Kirley, Paula Dugan and Mary Ellen O'Brien worked together to make her dream a reality. Thus, in 2001 the weeklong program called Celtic Adventures for Kids was born. Over the years hundreds of children have been immersed in Irish language, dance and culture for the week, often learning about what was dear to parents and/or grandparents. The Irish Cultural Center was founded in 1999 after the showing of the documentary "Blasket Roots: American Dreams" and is dedicating to "keeping the Irish arts alive." The organization offers programs, films, lectures, concerts, as well as Irish language classes and genealogy help. Where better to start than as children to learn all facets of the Irish culture and heritage!

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