Media Initiative Respecting Difference Programme welcomes new character in the countryside.
Lucy, the new character to the Media Initiative Respecting Difference Programme was formally launched at a Celebratory Event recently.
The latest message features a new character, Lucy, who welcomes existing character Bukola as he begins a new life in the countryside. This new episode follows the same format as the previous messages and themes of the programme, but also introduces a brand new setting from a rural perspective. The new message features many aspects of rural living while highlighting the importance of farming life, shared education, sporting and community activities.
Speaking at the event Teresa Canavan, Chief Executive Officer of RDC stated:-
‘We are delighted to welcome Lucy, the new addition to the Respecting Difference Programme. The development process was not only extremely enjoyable but very inclusive and it brought together a wide range of sectors and interests and really embraced the ethos and diversity of the Rural Respecting Difference Programme.
We didn’t want to create a stereotype or idyllic view of the countryside but to show it as a working, living community that embraces change.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the focus group consisting of representatives from the three partners, who alongside the GAA, Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Southern Education & Library Board, South Tyrone Empowerment Programme and South Armagh SureStart, helped develop the new character.’
Maura McMenamin, Club & Community Development Officer, Ulster GAA added ‘We were delighted to be represented on the focus group in the development of Lucy. GAA clubs are key rural stakeholders; the hub of many rural communities and it was with great pleasure, and enthusiasm that I contributed to the focus group, working with other key rural stakeholders.’
William Stewart, Outreach Officer, The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, ‘We have been impressed with the success of this programme. Our halls are at the heart of many rural communities. We have been happy to give our support working with other organisations developing Lucy’s world. We believe this complements our programme of promoting mutual respect for all in our society.’
Teachers and after school leaders will be delighted that they will be receiving their new resources including the new Lucy puppet, jigsaws, story book, DVD and sequencing cards. Early Years Specialists will be visiting the schools and after schools over the coming weeks to support them with the implementation of the curriculum within each of their settings.
Speaking at the event Siobhan Fitzpatrick,Chief Executive Officer, Early Years noted:-
‘We have been delighted to work with the Rural Development Council and the Border Counties Childhood Network to focus on developing a new rural message. We believe this message has significant importance for the school environment who too are aiming to embrace a shared education philosophy and we believe that the rural message, the curriculum that accompanies it, the resources that will help schools and teachers work more effectively with parents is a very timely development.’
The new feature has been developed as part of the Rural Respecting Difference Programme, which involves the unique partnership of the Rural Development Council (RDC), Early Years – the organisation for young children, and the Border Counties Childhood Network (BCCN).
Denise McCormilla, Chief Executive, BCCN noted:-
‘The Respecting Difference Programme helps us to support the quality agenda and it ties in really well with our National Quality Framework. It also supports the key themes of our national curriculum framework for early education.’