Horsham charity holds global story writing competition

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A Horsham-based charity ran a global story-writing competition for children aged seven to 11 to mark World Values Day.

From early September to mid-October, hundreds of children from America, Africa, India and the UK responded enthusiastically to the Human Values Foundation’s contest.

They conjured up stories based on their favourite values, and teachers sent in over 200 of the best entries from their schools.

The project encouraged young citizens to demonstrate the powerful influences of well-chosen values, especially when applied to day-to-day situations and activities, and how they can be used to prioritise what is important and positively impact wellbeing, relationships, community life and responsible stewardship of the environment.

Chair of the panel of judges, Professor Sir Al Aynsley-Green, who served as the first Children’s Commissioner for England from 2005 to 2010 and is an internationally recognised authority on children’s services, child health and childhood, commented on the shortlisted. He said: “Amazing submissions - every one of them is outstanding in the quality of thinking and ability to convey some profound thoughts.

“I was particularly struck by the compassion that was repeatedly displayed arguing well for attitudes in their homes and schools for instilling such humanity in children so young.”

Such was the quality of the children’s work, all three judges, Sir Al, Dr Jill Berry and Sonia Gill, found the task of selecting the best entries a real challenge but ‘a welcome problem’ which resulted in joint winners, both from India.

Sherwin, aged eight, a pupil at Samsidh Mount Litera ZEE School, Electronic Branch, wrote about ‘The kind boy Krish’ and his remarkable generosity, while Laya aged ten from NIVE New Horizon Public School centered her story ‘The Power of Silence’ on the strength derived from being able to draw on inner tranquility particularly when in nervous situations.

Sir Al said: “This is an exercise to be celebrated and gives me much hope for our next generation.”

The Human Values Foundation, a charity based in Salisbury Road, is run by volunteers and creates teaching resources based on values that enable schools to deliver a curriculum that prepares young people well for life.