Jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean in the northwest part of Donegal County, sits the picturesque village of Glencolmcille. Within the village is housed a series of replica cottages representing life dating from the 1700s to the 1900s called The Folk Village Museum. As part of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, visitors from all over the world come to see the beautifully designed cottages. What was missing however,was a place where children could imagine life in rural Ireland, play traditional games and learn more about the life of their community.

Quoting Margaret Cunningham the museum curator, “the Folk Village needs something for the wee ones to do”and that is how the 2016 Community Engagement in Donegal Ireland began.

In May 2016 Classport worked with two separate faculty -led student programs. One group was from Northern Michigan University’s (NMU) Center for Student Engagement and the other group was Central Michigan University, (CMU) Education and Human Services, Interior Design. Both groups were on separate programs in Ireland that included a visit to Ireland’s Northwest. Wanting to find a meaningful way to give back to the community these two faculty led programs set about transforming two storage sheds into designated children’s play centers. The project was broken down into three phases.

The project was broken down into three phases.

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The children’s cottages officially opened for business in July and children both local and touring, are able to imagine life in the past. Classport was proud to be part of this unique community project and to help these two universities leave behind a legacy in Donegal.