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Celtic adventures for kids

CHICOPEE — The Irish Cultural Center at Elms College is accepting registrations for its 11th annual Celtic Adventures for Kids, July 25 to 29 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Children from grades 1 to 9 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 Culture Center members; $20 discount for each additional child from the same family; $50 non-refundable deposit with registration is due June 13; balance is due by July 11.
E-mail irishcenter@elms.edu, call 265-2537 for further information and/or a registration or visit 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 also Mike Carney has taught a session on Irish football, and last year Tom Feeley spent a day teaching Irish road bowling to the campers. 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 29 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 Culture 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 week-long 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.
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