Four students solving math problems


March is Irish-American Heritage Month which “honors the achievements and contributions of Irish immigrants and their descendants living in the United States. The month of March was chosen to coincide with St. Patrick's Day on March 17th, which is both a Catholic religious holiday and a national holiday in Ireland that has evolved into a celebration of all things Irish. The world’s first St. Patrick’s Day parade occurred in 1762.” ( President Biden’s family descends from Ireland, and he shares a little bit about his own family’s history in his Proclamation on Irish-American Heritage Month, 2023

At Laurence, we are celebrating and learning about Irish-American history through school-wide read alouds.  

In Kindergarten through 2nd grade, students are reading Patrick and the President, by Ryan Tubridy. The book is set against the backdrop of President John F. Kennedy’s (America's first Irish-Catholic President) June 1963 visit to Ireland. In this fictionalized account, a young Irish lad named Patrick, his family, his schoolmates, and the whole town of Wexford anticipate the arrival of the U.S. president. This story is a collaboration from Irish broadcast personality Tubridy and award-winning Irish artist P.J. Lynch. The narrative starts off gently, with a glimpse of Patrick's home life. The excitement builds as the president's arrival nears. Patrick's dream is realized when he is able to offer Kennedy a Swiss roll he has carefully cut up. 

Students in 3rd through 6th grade will be reading Fiona’s Lace, by Patricia Polacco. Fiona’s family immigrated from Ireland, seeking a better life. The book is based on the author’s Irish father’s family, the art of creating lace, and memories of Ireland as the family traverse their new lives in America.

Thank you to 2nd Grade Teacher Sabrina Crame and Librarian Jennifer Levin for contributing to this article.