We had supper last weekend with friends whose daughter teaches at Winnipeg Mennonite Elementary School. They told us their daughter’s elementary class was involved in an exchange with the Al-Hijra Islamic School. Classes from both schools have been visiting one another and participating in games and activities together. In CBC interviews the Muslim and Mennonite principals said they were looking for ways to help children implement values of openness, fairness, kindness, compassion and care; values shared by both Muslim and Christian belief systems. By providing opportunities for their students to connect they hoped to prevent stereotypes from breeding and teach the children how important it is to respect those whose faith might differ from their own. The kids interviewed for the CBC story were happy to be making new friends.
I am glad educators are actively seeking opportunities to foster tolerance, respect and friendship between children of different backgrounds. It gives me hope for the future of our country and the world.