Woodland Adventure Playgroup, Augher, Clogher Valley Playgroup and Tru Beginnings Community Playgroup, Emyvale Co Monaghan have been working together on their second year of the shared education project ‘Sharing From The Start’. The cross border partnership has had a number of shared sessions together this term including learning Sean Nós dancing with tutor Paul Cassidy.
‘Sharing From The Start’ is supported by 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.
Children and staff from the Augher, Clogher and Emyvale partnership have embraced the opportunity to learn together and the benefits that sharing brings. They have been working and playing at each other’s settings and later this term they will be visiting Monaghan Library. The curriculum focus of their work together is music and rhythm.
Leaders from the three playgroups commented that their involvement in the project and working as a partnership has helped them gather new ideas and strategies allowing them to provide a quality curriculum to all children in their care as well as getting more connected with their local community. Not only have the children been making new friends but parents have been getting to know each other and the playgroups have been encouraged by their support.
Administered by Early Years, working in collaboration with the Fermanagh Trust and National Childhood Network, the project aims to engage almost 10,000 pre-school children in shared activities on an 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. Match-funding for the project has been provided by the Department of Education in Northern Ireland and the Department of Education and Skills Ireland.
For more information on ‘Sharing From The Start’ CLICK HERE