Youngsters tackle racism

by Foundation of Light

Club's charity takes campaign into schools.

North East pupils are to be challenged on their preconceptions of racial stereotypes as part of a leading football charity's campaign to tackle racism.

SAFC’s official charity, the Foundation of Light, is working in partnership with schools across the region to educate young people on a range of sensitive topics through a combination of classwork and games.

This week, to coincide with European Wide Action Against Racism Week (March 15 to 23), the charity’s Tackle It team is hosting a special stereotyping session at East Herrington Primary Academy, Sunderland.

The session, one of six being delivered at the school over the next few weeks, will challenge around 60 year six students to guess a person’s nationality, job and personality traits, just by looking at a picture of their face.

This is designed to highlight how assumptions can easily be made on the basis of someone’s skin colour or other stereotypical physical features.

After that the students will take part in a game of handball, designed to showcase the importance of acceptance and teamwork.

Year six teacher, Neil Iceton, said; “It’s important to educate people on issues such as racism from a young age and it’s great to be able to work with the Foundation of Light to do that in a way which is both fun and engaging.”

The Foundation of Light’s Tackle It initiative, which has been running since 2004, offers schools a variety of six week courses, each based on a specific social issue such as bullying, substance misuse and health. 

The racism course, which East Herrington Primary Academy is undergoing at the moment, includes a series of hour-long sessions based on diversity, stereotyping, communities and culture, all using a combination of classroom-based learning and teamwork sport.

It follows the success of a similar course delivered at the school last year, which focussed on self-esteem and confidence.

Ed Cook, Senior Informal Education Office at the Foundation of Light, said: “Over the last decade the Tackle It programme has grown to the stage where we’re working with more than 50 schools every year across the North East.”

“Many, like East Herrington, have hosted more than one of the courses and it’s fantastic to see so many young people engaging with us to help them make positive choices both in school and out.”

More information about the Foundation of Light and it’s full range of sport and education based courses can also be found at www.foundationoflight.co.uk or by following @SAFCFol on Twitter.