Children from Tiny Tots Playgroup, Mullymesker and Little Bridges Community Nursery, Florencecourt have been enjoying working together on the Shared Education project ‘Sharing From The Start’.
They have had number of sessions together focussing on dance, facilitated by Dylan Quinn. Recently the children put on a joint dance performance, showcasing everything they’ve learnt to parents from both playgroups.
‘Sharing From The Start’ is supported the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body. Funding enables pre-schools to take part in Shared Education projects improving educational outcomes and cross-community cohesion, inclusion and diversity. A number of neighbouring pre-school partnerships have been developed throughout Northern Ireland and the Southern Border Counties.
Rachel Harron from Tiny Tots commented “We are so delighted to take part in this project. It is something we’ve always wanted to do as there has been Shared Education happening in this area for a number of years so this is a natural fit for us. It is lovely that the children will get to carry on with Shared Education when they move on to primary school.”
Tara Kingston from Little Bridges added “Children have really enjoyed the curriculum based work, especially their sessions with Dylan Quinn. We can really see their confidence growing and friendships forming. They are always so excited to go and visit their new friends and then to have them visit us as well. It is a great for communities, staff and parents to come together.”
Administered by Early Years, working in collaboration with the National Childhood Network and the Fermanagh Trust, ‘Sharing From The Start’ aims to engage almost 10,000 pre-school children in shared activities on ongoing and sustained basis by 2022. Together these three organisations have a strong track record and over twenty years experience of working for the benefit of children and community relations development.
Audrey Rainey, (Early Years) Programme Manger of Sharing From The Start said “This is a great example of the benefits of working together. The two have been able to share resources and facilitation, resulting in an excellent performance for parents. Well done to all the children and the staff and for all their hard work embracing Shared Education so fully.”