Some 250 young people from the nine post primary schools in Ballymena have started a year long programme aimed at increasing tolerance and self-esteem.
The pupils who take part in the community relations and citizenship education programme will visit places such as Stormont, the Dail and Croke Park in Dublin.
As part of the Schools Community Relations Programme, developed by the North Eastern Education and Library Board with extra funding from the Department of Education, a class of year nine pupils from each school will take part in a series of workshops in their neighbouring schools to explore issues of relationships, identity and dealing with difference.
The workshops are being facilitated by a team from the North Eastern Board's Youth Service who are well versed in handling conflict situations and building good relationships - both in the formal and informal educational setting.
The North Eastern Board's assistant adviser for community relations and citizenship, Michael Graham, said: "This community relations initiative is fully integrated into the curriculum as part of citizenship classes dealing with such topics as racism and sectarianism.
"The plans include opportunities to visit Dublin in March and to meet MLAs at the Assembly in June.
"We also hope to hold a major celebration to mark the culmination of the programme in Ballymena at the end of the school year."