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Project to teach children to ‘live and let live’ is coming to Preston

Posted on - 28th May, 2019 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Preston Council, Preston News, Schools
Heartstone Project
Heartstone Project

A project aimed at educating youngsters about prejudice, intolerance and hate crime is coming to Preston.

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Non-profit organisation Heartstone will implement their Heartstone Odyssey project across the city.

Heartstone aims to challenge prejudice and intolerance – and the hate crime that can follow – by building empathy and understanding across different nationalities, cultures, races, faiths and backgrounds.

The Heartstone Odyssey project, which is aimed at nine to 12-year-olds, has a core message of ‘live and let live’.

It uses a fantasy story to generate discussion and debate, and develop literacy and critical thinking. 

In the story, a female heroine documents her quest to overcome intolerance, prejudice and racism in collaboration with her allies. Fantasy is mixed with real locations and history to explore the issue of identity and how historical events affect society’s tolerance of difference.

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The project has been given the green light thanks to funding from Lancashire Constabulary (LANPAC), Preston City Council and Preston and Western Lancashire Racial Equality and Diversity Council.

Lancashire Constabulary Chief Inspector Ian Mills said: “This is an ideal opportunity to work with young people across Preston in order to help them understand and build resilience to overcome prejudice, intolerance and racism.

“LANPAC supports crime prevention and community safety schemes throughout Lancashire and we are delighted to support the Heartstone Odyssey project which combats incidents of racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance.

“We are keen to see the outcome of this project and possibly share the information throughout the County, making Lancashire a better place in which to live and work.”

A statement from Preston and Western Lancashire Racial Equality and Diversity Council said: “We are thrilled to be bringing this innovative and important project to Preston, working with young people to create an environment of inclusion, tolerance and understanding. 

“It is great to see a child-led, school-supported initiative that can be rolled out flexibly, to meet the needs of the community and pupils. We cannot wait to introduce it to our local schools.”

Councillor Nweeda Khan, Cabinet Member for Communities and Social Justice for Preston City Council said: “It is our honour to support such a great project that will proactively engage our young people in a meaningful way.

“Introducing these important topics and concepts through story will hopefully break down barriers and lead to really important, child-led learning in our communities.”

Once in place, the Heartstone Odyssey project pack can be used year after year with new classes.

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What do you think of the Heartstone Odyssey project coming to Preston? Let us know in the comments below.

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