30/01/2018 - Published by

US Schoolchildren’s Messages of Peace for Survivors of Manchester Arena attack


Contact – Sabina Frediani – sabina.frediani@foundation4peace.org – 01925 581232

Issued – Tuesday 30th January 2018, 09:30, Warrington, Cheshire, North West England

Children from McKinley and Franklin elementary schools: a message of peace.Peace campaigners and US school children form special relationship to support families affected by the Manchester Arena terrorist attack
Messages of friendship and hope.A group of American schoolchildren have contacted a North West charity supporting survivors of the Manchester Arena terrorist attack, which claimed the lives of 22 young fans at Ariana Grande’s concert last year. The Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Foundation was contacted by Sarah Dugger, a teacher at McKinley and Franklin elementary schools in North Bergen, New Jersey, USA, who explained that her students wanted to write cards containing messages of hope and kindness.

Terry O’Hara, who leads the Peace Foundation’s Survivors Assistance Network (SAN), which helps victims of terrorism cope and recover, suggested that the children send cards to the Peace Foundation so that they could be passed on to the families they are supporting. Since the attack, the Peace Foundation has assisted over 700 individuals who were affected. So far, the charity has received cards from children from across six classes at McKinley and Franklin schools in New Jersey, displaying positive messages of peace and hope.

Cheryl and Matt Stollery, whose husband and father John was one of 38 people who lost their lives when a gunman opened fire on tourists staying in the popular resort of Port El Kantaoui in Tunisia on 26 June 2015, are one of the families supported by the Peace Foundation’s Survivors Assistance Network.

Cheryl Stollery said:

“The cards and response touched us both. We truly found it heartwarming that children and communities many miles away cared to do something to make a difference. They remain our hope for the future.”

Terry O’Hara, Survivors Assistance Network Manager said:

“Many of the children who sent cards were the same age as the young fans attending the Ariana Grande concert so the devastating events of that night struck a chord. This thoughtful act shows how much we have in common with others, and how reaching out with messages of support and solidarity can make a difference to survivors dealing with the aftermath.”

Sarah Dugger, teacher at Franklin and Mckinley schools, New Jersey said:

“Caring and friendship can spread better than hate can. When these students say “I am your friend” and “I care,” they mean it.  Our hearts go out to the people of Manchester – we stand together with you.”

2018 marks 25 years since the Warrington bomb which led to the founding of the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Foundation. The charity works with schools in the UK and delivers a peace education programme for primary school children. Small Steps for Peace helps children understand the causes of conflict and the impact and consequences of violence. Teachers and parents interested in this course should contact info@foundation4peace.org


Notes to Editors

  • The Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Foundation (Peace Foundation) was founded in memory of two boys, Tim Parry and Johnathan Ball, who were tragically killed in the IRA’s bombing of Warrington in March 1993.
  • The Peace Foundation works with those who have been impacted by war, terrorism and politically motivated violence and our wide range of programmes bring us into contact with individuals ranging from young people susceptible to extremism, women in diverse communities, veterans of conflict and their families as well as survivors and witnesses to acts of terrorism and violent conflict. 2018 is a significant year for the Peace Foundation, marking the 25th anniversary of the bombing.
  • Schools involved in the letter writing project are McKinley school (Principal Peter Clark) and Franklin school (Principal Janet Sandstrom), with the support of Superintendent of North Bergen Schools, Dr George Solter. More information about North Bergen School District is available at www.northbergen.k12.nj.us


The Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace, The Peace Centre, Peace Drive, Warrington, Cheshire, WA5 1HQ. Direct 01925 581208 – Tel 01925 581231 – Fax 01925 581233


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