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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 July, 2005, 19:43 GMT 20:43 UK
Barnes congratulates black youths
John Barnes
John Barnes was meeting youngsters at the Maritime Museum
Ex-Liverpool and England footballer John Barnes is backing a project which encourages academic achievement among African-Caribbean youngsters.

He will join poet Levi Tafari on Wednesday to congratulate youngsters taking part in the Liverpool Black Achievement Project.

The children involved in the scheme improve their performance in English, maths and science.

They also study the history of black men and women.

As part of the project, high-profile black men and women visit schools to speak to children about their lives.

'Very proud'

The project aims to boost youngsters' aspirations and self-esteem.

Barbara Higgins, from the project, said: "We are very proud of the hard work and successes of our children on the Black Achievement Project.

"Schools have been enthusiastic in their support for the project and the achievements and potential of these children has been evident."

Councillor Paul Clein, of Liverpool City Council, said: "It is vitally important that we encourage youngsters to learn more about how their ancestors came to be in this country.

"It gives them a greater sense of who they are as well as painting a picture of the history of Liverpool and the influence on making it the city that it is today."

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