Clones Hosts Respecting Difference Training

A set of specially created persona puppets were used to train early years and pre-school practitioners from Monaghan, Cavan and Fermanagh this week in The Cassandra Hand Centre, Clones. The Media Initiative Respecting Difference training, under the Rural Respecting Difference Programme, aims to support young children with concepts of bullying, racial discrimination and cultural difference.

Clones Hosts Respecting Difference Training

The teachers and preschool practitioners took part in a two day training programme, where they learned how to implement the programme within their settings.

The training is based on cartoons that are set in a play park and feature characters children can easily identify with. Teachers, classroom assistants and after school leaders were trained to use puppets, a class room curriculum and a range of other developmentally appropriate resources that will help prompt children to talk about their feelings and attitudes towards difference. All participants received a comprehensive resource pack, including the six puppets, a Service Design Manual, jigsaws, games, posters and stickers to help with the delivery of the Programme in the classroom.

Speaking about the Programme, Denise McCormilla Chief Executive of Border Counties Childhood Network (BCCN) commented ‘We have worked with Early Years for many years in supporting and promoting the Respecting Difference Media Initiative within pre-school services across the Border Counties and Meath. We have been delighted to be involved in promoting the programme now within primary schools and after school services as a result of continued collaboration with Early Years – the organisation for young children and the NI Rural Development Council. Funding made available through the EU’s Peace III Programme has provided valuable information, training, resources and specialist support to primary school teachers, after school staff and parents. The programme offers a very enjoyable and fun way for children to learn key messages in relation to respecting difference.  Preventing the development of prejudices at an early age within families and communities is essential in a society where widespread differences now exist.’

Early Years Specialists will be visiting the rural schools and after schools over the next few months to provide ongoing support to practitioners to implement the programme. They will support teachers and implement parent information sessions where parents will have an opportunity to experience the programme at first hand. Schools and after schools will also have the opportunity to participate in good relations seminars and get support for developing a Good Relations Action Plan.

The Rural Respecting Difference Programme was launched in February and is based on the Media Initiative for Children (MIFC) Respecting Difference Programme developed by Early Years – the organisation for young children and Pii, the Peace Initiatives Institute in the USA. The programme is financed by the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund through the EU’s PEACE III Programme for Peace and Reconciliation and is being delivered jointly by the Northern Ireland Rural Development Council (RDC), Early Years, and the Border Counties Childhood Network (BCCN).

There is a number of training events organised during October and November and if you would like to find out more information, please contact Seana Quinn or Kirsty Lancashire on +44 28 8676 6980 or squinn@rdc.org.uk / klancashire@rdc.org.uk.

 

 

NOTES TO EDITORS 

  1. The Rural Respecting Difference Programme is being delivered by 3 organisations working in partnership namely; the Northern Ireland Rural Development Council (RDC), Early Years and the Border Counties Childhood Network (BCCN).
  2. The programme is being funded under Priority 1 Theme 1.2 Acknowledging and Dealing with the Past of the The programme is part financed by the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund through the EU’s PEACE III Programme for Peace and Reconciliation managed for the Special Programmes Body by Pobal.

 

For further information contact:

Seana Quinn / Kirsty Lancashire

Programme Officer, Rural Respecting Difference Programme

Rural Development Council

T: +44 (0)28 8676 6980

F: +44 (0)28 8676 6922

E:- squinn@rdc.org.uk / klancashire@rdc.org.uk

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