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New education programme launched with Heartstone Odyssey book

Scores of children meet Diocese of Westminster Bishop John Wilson

03 August, 2018 — By Tom Foot

 

SCORES of children gathered outside Westminster Cathedral in mouse masks to celebrate the start of an education programme.

They were recreating the mouse characters in The Heartstone Odyssey, a fantasy book that draws on ancient mythology to tell an alternative view of history – and with a heroine.

The story, by Arvan Kumar, aims to break down traditional stereotypes about race and gender and educate children about discrim- ination and prejudice.

The event was opened by the Diocese of Westminster Bishop John Wilson, Dame Louise Ellman, MP for Liverpool Riverside, deputy director of the Nehru Centre Kumar Guhare, and director of the Chinese National Healthy Living Centre Eddie Chan.

Director of Heartstone and principal dancer and storyteller, Sita Kumari (inset) said: “The Heartstone Odyssey is a gripping epic adventure but also a moral tale for our time. The books have been written to entertain, a story for children that adults too can enjoy and, as with all great timeless stories, will leave you seeing the world in a different way for ever, to see past stereotypes and prejudice, to see a common humanity.”

Education chief Cllr David Harvey said: “I want Westminster to be a community where anyone feels included, regardless of race, background or religion.”

He added: “I hope this event inspires young people to be optimistic and ambitious about their future in this city.”

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