BY Ryan McDougall | March 6 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

4 lent app

St Bartholomew’s pupil, 6, sees her app idea become a reality

A six-year-old Catholic school pupil has launched her very own Lent-themed smartphone app which will help people negotiate the challenges of Lent, after winning a school competition.

Primary two pupil Orla Mooney of St Bartholomew’s Primary School, Castlemilk, created Lent 4 Me, which is now widely available to download, full of daily challenges for young people to participate in during the Lenten season.

The app, which won the top prize from 200 entries, consists of challenges such as giving up sweets for the day, giving up TV and other simple, yet positive, challenges for young children. The competition was run through Scottish charity Make it Happen.

App users of Lent 4 Me can then log in at the end of the day and state whether or not they succeeded in the daily challenge.

School’s delight

Colette Mullan, depute headteacher of St Bartholomew’s, invited representatives of Make it Happen into the school to host the challenge and said Orla is ecstatic to have won.

“She’s absolutely delighted—she keeps telling everyone about it and has been asking if we’ve done the challenges. I keep forgetting to check! Everybody’s been really buzzing about it and we’ll be doing it next year. The school’s digital leaders will lead it as a school project.”

Make it Happen is a Scottish charity which aims to inspire children’s digital learning. They run their App Design Competition across Scottish primary schools and are set to expand to the USA, hosting a competition in a Jersey City school next month.

Despite only forming in April 2019, the charity has already reached 50 Scottish schools with over 150 volunteers.

Inspiration

Alan Torrance, a founder of Make it Happen said: “Orla made me jump for joy to see such a bright and enthusiastic young pupil so passionate about her Faith and using her God-given talents to create such an inspiring app idea that we can all use.

“Her parents and teachers can be so proud of her. Bishop John Keenan of Paisley was so excited when we shared this with him that he has already downloaded Lent 4 Me and shared it with all his followers on Facebook and Twitter.”

Mr Torrance added: “We founded Make it Happen last year in April—part of the inspiration came from a homily that Fr Stephen Baillie gave in St Joseph’s Church, Clarkston, at the start of Lent.

Bishop’s endorsement 

“He said he didn’t want to hear what we gave up for Lent, but who we have become and what we have made happen by the end of Lent.”

Bishop John Keenan of Paisley Diocese endorsed the app on his Facebook page, saying: “As Lent approaches, here is a fantastic Lent app, Lent 4 Me, that gives you a challenge a day.

“The creator is a P2 pupil in St Bartholomew’s RC Primary in Castlemilk. I’ve downloaded it and am going to use it daily.”

Mr Torrance said the charity aims to see young people ‘realise they can learn to become digital creators and not just digital consumers.’

He said: “They have amazing STEM superpowers and by taking part in this simple competition we can help them unlock those skills that will enable them to achieve amazing careers and opportunities.”

To download Lent 4 Me, search for it on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.

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