Puppets Show a Respect for Difference in Muff

Bullying, racial discrimination and cultural difference were some of the issues highlighted in a training course delivered through the Rural Respecting Difference Programme in Co. Donegal using a set of specifically created persona puppets.

Puppets Show a Respect for Difference in Muff

A number of primary schools and after schools came together on Tuesday and Wednesday to take part in the Media Initiative Respecting Difference training in the IOSAS Centre & Celtic Prayer Garden, Muff, Co Donegal.

The training is based on cartoons that are set in a play park and feature characters in which children can easily identify. 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 within their own settings. 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.

 Early Years Specialists will be visiting rural schools and after schools over the next few months to provide ongoing support so that they can implement the programme. They will support teachers and after school leaders, 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.

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.’

 The Rural Respecting Difference Programme is eight months into implementation and fifty primary schools and after schools have been trained to date from a number of selected areas along the border in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Over 800 children aged four to eight years have been involved in this specific programme.

The Rural Respecting Difference Programme is a partnership between Early Years – the organisation for young children, Northern Ireland Rural Development Council (RDC) and the Border Counties Childhood Network (BCCN). It is financed by the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund through the EU’s PEACE III Programme for Peace and Reconciliation.

 If you would like to find out more information about this programme, please contact Seana Quinn or Kirsty Lancashire on 028 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 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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