Celebratory Event marks success of Rural Respecting Difference Programme

Teachers, classroom assistants and after school leaders along with a number of special guests attended an event to celebrate the success of the Rural Respecting Difference Programme and to launch the new media message cartoon ‘Moving to the Countryside’.

Celebratory Event marks success of Rural Respecting Difference Programme

Speakers at Celebratory Event

L-R David McCay (Peace Initiatives Institute), Siobhán Fitzpatrick (Early Years), Robin Luff (Peace Initiatives Institute), Denise McCormilla (BCCN), Teresa Canavan (RDC),  Tony McCusker (RDC)

Held on Thursday 9th October 2014 in Corick House, Clogher, the event brought the curtain down on two highly successful years of the EU Peace III funded Programme which was jointly implemented by the Rural Development Council, Early Years – the organisation for young children and the Border Counties Childhood Network (BCCN).

Teresa Canavan, Chief Executive, Rural Development Council (RDC) said ‘the event was an opportunity to mark the successes of the Rural Respecting Difference Programme and recognise the achievements and the impact that the Programme has made to all participant schools and after schools.’

One hundred practitioners from almost sixty primary schools and after school clubs along the border counties were trained in the Media Initiative for Children Respecting Difference Programme, with the programme reaching out to 2,800 children aged 4 to 8 years and engaging with over 700 parents.

The training aimed to support young children with concepts of bullying, racial discrimination and cultural difference

Denise McCormilla, Chief Executive, BCCN noted ‘there is good evidence of application of the learning from the training and strong indications of how this adds real value to the subsequent experience in the classroom or afterschool setting – certainly in terms of promoting understanding of respect for difference, as well as broader enrichment of the curriculum.’

The keynote speaker at the event was Ms Robin Luff, Executive Director, Peace Initiatives Institute, Colorado, a US-based non-profit organisation providing a grassroots, collaborative approach to building peace through children in conflicted countries worldwide.

Guests at the event also got to see a special preview of the latest instalment of the popular ‘Together in The Park’ media initiative – Moving to the Countryside.

The all-new feature boasts a brand new character called Lucy and this time the action takes place in a rural setting as she shows her new friend Bukola around the area.

Speaking at the event Siobhán Fitzpatrick CBE, Chief Executive, Early Years statedWe have been delighted to work with RDC and BCCN to focus on developing a new rural media message.’