The Go4IT Programme was established in 2008 as a collaborative initiative between the Northside Family Resource Centre, Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) and the local schools to encourage our young people to participate in third level education. It aims to support young people from 6th class to 6th year who have academic potential but where there may not be a family tradition of attending 3rd Level education. The programme also aims to introduce the concept of lifelong learning and provide experiences of a range of subjects. This programme is not open to the public as the local schools choose who enters the programmes.
The main objectives of the ‘GO4IT’ programme are:
- To facilitate increased access to third-level education by young people from the target areas
- To raise awareness of educational options for young people and their families
- To support young people to reach their full educational potential
- To demonstrate that third-level education is a welcoming and supportive place and breakdown barriers to attending third-level including supports in the application process and funding
In 6th class, the two local primary schools Thomond Primary School, Ballynanty and Corpus Christi, Moyross identify pupils who have the potential of going onto third level and put them forward for this six-year initiative. The 6th class group attend both the LIT, Limerick School of Art& Design and Thurles LIT Campus to experience lectures and workshops in a variety of subject areas and parents are also linked with the Access team at LIT. They meet for half a day each month with workshops on science, art, sports, IT and digital media.
1st years develop photography skills and attend a personal development programme to build their confidence. This programme supports young people to make the transition from primary to secondary school. Their photos are shown at an exhibition at the GO4IT! Graduation each May.
2nd years focus on film and digital media skills and they meet weekly to plan, design and film their own short film which is shown at the GO4IT! Graduation each May. The film is also put on Northside FRC website page. The topics in the past have been outsiders’ perceptions of living in Limerick, Anti-bullying and this year there is a focus on drugs prevention.
3rd - 5th Year
3rd to 5th years are involved in an Enterprise Programme. The young people must design a number of products which they will create and then must pitch their ideas, budget, timescale etc to a panel of LIT staff in order to secure their seed money. This money will then be used to purchase the raw materials required for their creations. Their final products are sold at the annual LIT Christmas Fair, alongside college students, with all profits donated to a local charity.
6th year focuses on stress management and study skills alongside individual support to apply to Third Level courses and to access financial supports. Workshops in the completion of CAO forms and SUSI grant applications are held in this strand.
Parents are invited to attend each year to see their young person’s creations, to experience the LIT campus and information workshops on how to support their young person’s application to Third Level.