(Reposted from: Big Stamp of Approval. May 14, 2018)
By Matthew Smith
School children from three Sheffield primary schools were presented with caps and gowns after graduating from a groundbreaking peace education course, devised by a charity working to prevent radicalization and extremism.
The Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Foundation runs Small Steps for Peace, an interactive course aimed at Key Stage 2 (9 and 10-year old) pupils. The course helps young learners understand the impact of conflict and practice problem solving. Following their completion of the course, children from Prince Edward Primary, Meersbrook Bank Primary and St Marie’s Primary schools were presented with certificates, caps and gowns at a graduation ceremony on Friday 11th May 2018.
The Peace Foundation’s work includes offering emotional and practical support to individuals who have been directly affected by terrorist incidents. The charity’s Survivors Assistance Network has provided support to over 750 individuals affected by the 2017 Manchester Arena attack. The Peace Foundation was founded in memory of two boys, Tim Parry and Johnathan Ball, who were tragically killed in the IRA’s bombing of Warrington in March 1993. Tim’s parents, Colin and Wendy Parry, presented the primary school children with their certificates.
Colin Parry OBE, Chair of the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Foundation said:
At Tim’s funeral I said that if my son becomes a symbol for peace and gives everyone a new sense of hope after so much tragedy, then that will be Tim’s unique achievement. Peace education with young people, helping them understand the causes and consequences of violent conflict is a vital part of our work.
Ciara Kinsella, Project Lead for Small Steps for Peace said:
Small Steps for Peace has had such a positive response from pupils and teachers. Our teachers pack includes a book, games and interactive exercises which are simple to run and understand and help young people explain and address their feelings with confidence. Small Steps for Peace gives children the tools to resolve problems without resorting to violence, which is essential as they approach their teenage years and adulthood.