HATE crime is set to be tackled in schools through the power of words.

The Heartstone Odyssey project will use adventure stories to raise and discuss social issues around identity, challenge stereotypes and promote tolerance in schools across County Durham.

Children from years five to seven will be involved in the project, which is being delivered by non-profit national organisation Heartstone.

Schools taking part are Bishop Barrington, in Bishop Auckland, Crook Primary, Easington Colliery Primary, Finchale Primary, Parkside Academy, in Willington, South Stanley Junior School, The Oaks, in Spennymoor, and Wearhead Primary, in Weardale.

Kathryn Henderson,of Durham County Council, said: “Promoting tolerance in our schools is more important than ever and projects which help incorporate these messages into the curriculum are of real benefit to pupils.”