Schools forging firm friendships

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A cross-community event involving pupils and their parents from two local primary schools was held on Saturday evening in Jordanstown.

The mixer event, which was held in Ulster Transport Bowling Club, saw pupils from St James’s Primary School and Whitehouse Primary School join together for an opportunity to develop friendships.

The event was organised by some of the children’s parents, following a successful Corrymeela event in February.

During the event at the end of February, relationships developed and there were a number of positive behavioural changes in some of the children.

The event in February saw 10 families from each school take part. The trip involved pupils and their families heading away for two nights.

The days were spent in group activities and sessions, where trained and highly experienced counsellors spent time helping parents and children examine themselves and the communities they live in.

The evenings were spent talking and comparing experiences over cups of tea. Coorymeela is an alcohol free zone.

Event organiser, Cheryl Shaw, said: “Too often in the media the differences between the communities are pointed out. Our real fear is that children will pick up on the differences and take these forward into adulthood.

“These children are our next generation and potential leaders of the future. What we have started here is something we all believe is wonderful.

“Saturday’s event went very well and was a big success. The children all had a ball as did the parents.

“This was the first event continuing on from the success at Corrymeela. The children from both communities, as well as their parents, are strengthening relationships that were first made there.

“Our next event is on Friday, May 20 and will be held at St James’s.”