Conor's Sponsored Football
by Keira Quinn
I work as a 1/1 TA at Corpus Christi Primary School and am immensely proud to work in year 5 supporting a hardworking young man called Conor, who is profoundly deaf, and has cochlear implants. For the most part, Conor works independently and contributes well in class, overcoming barriers which can make concentration difficult, such as background noise and peripheral sounds such as pencil tapping, chairs moving etc.
Recently, during English lessons we were focussing on persuasive writing, being quite a shy boy he found the concept of boastful language, imperative verbs and generally showing off quite difficult. Whilst trying to explain that he needed to use flamboyant language to sell an idea, we talked about things that he felt he could be persuasive about. The next day, with input from his Mum, he discussed Dorset Deaf Children’s Society. I suggested that he could do a fundraiser and he could make a poster promoting the charity. Conor set about researching the work of the charity and recalled events he had been to in the past, and how much he had enjoyed them.
He decided to do a football dribbling challenge, and became uncharacteristically animated and excited about making his poster, drawing up sponsorship forms, and preparing a short speech based on his research to persuade people to sponsor him. As he collected sponsors he became more confident, approaching his peers, members of school staff, family, friends and neighbours, many people whom he would not normally speak to, and nobody was left in any doubt about the cause he was supporting. Whilst he was doing this, he displayed wonderful life skills, improved social interactions, responsibly filling out his forms, taking care of money, working out how much people owed and collecting monies with gratitude, manners and confidence.
After the challenge Conor spoke in assembly in front of the whole school, thanking them for their support and raising awareness for Dorset Deaf Children’s Society. This was an amazing moment as he overcame his shyness and spoke passionately.
I am so proud of his achievement. Finally he wrote an excellent letter enclosing his cheque, again, letter writing was featured in our English lesson.
Conor gained so much from this project, his self-esteem, confidence and communication skills have soared. We covered quite a few things which were outside his comfort zone and he rose to the occasion admirably, and increased awareness of the need to support deaf children. In all, I believe that this has been a life enhancing activity, and one I would recommend.
Thank you to Keira and Corpus Christi Primary School and Conor and his parents, Siobhan and Brian, for sharing this story with us.
Conor raised £93 for Dorset DCS - Well done Conor!