News from our 2016 P.E.A.C.E. Projects
“Celebrating All of Us”
Olive Chukwuanu, Catholic Charities Family Child Care
The project’s overarching goal is to foster children’s knowledge about self-awareness and positive self – concept , demonstrate respect for all human diversity, value human differences and treat all persons with dignity, respect, justice , love and equity. An assortment of materials representing multiple cultures were placed in 3 “traveling bins” which family child care providers borrow and share with the children in their care. Included in the bins are books, dolls, art supplies, music CD, and backpacks so that individual children can borrow the items to bring home and share with their family. Shortly after the bins were created, 20 family child care providers were trained on how to use and implement this project in their programs. Within the first few months of creating this project three family child care providers borrowed the “travelling bin.” Providers are reporting back to us that children and families are enjoying the project. They are happy to report that they have seen lots of changes in the children’s behaviors especially in regards to how the relate with and treat each other.
“Resources for lnfant Educaring”
Daisy Mante, The Model School Comprehensive Humanistic Learning Center
Implementing RlE, as espoused by the late great Magda Gerber, was already one of our objectives for the coming year. We believe that providing a very loving, responsive, positive and peaceful environment for infants lays the foundation for peaceful development and ultimately for life. To put this belief into action a knowledgeable RlE guest speaker was invited in to present a workshop to staff. Several books were purchased to enhance the development of infant/toddler staff with regard to the significance of the RIE philosophy and concepts.
Activities with preschoolers and their teachers became varied and creative. Circle times were held where they discussed their concepts of peace and what it meant to them. They learned about peace symbols and decided to create their own peace symbols. They created a flag composed of these peace symbols to hang in their classroom". They learned a song with the dance teacher titled “Let There Be Peace on Earth". They read a book, "A Little Peace." by Barbara Kerley. To our delight, children began to demonstrate their awareness and to relate their behavior to the concept: "Yelling is not peace," said one, "Pushing is not peace”, said another. Photos captured infants caught in the act of being peaceful and loving.
“The Language of Food”
Enedelia Mason, Fullerton College Lab School
I decided to pursuit my passion to incorporate the language of food to connect with children and embed it in the curriculum. I and my co-workers learned an approach to introducing vegetables and fruits in our curriculum planning. We also purchased materials important to the process including a mortar and pestle that the children could grind their own pink sea salt and herbs. We used only fresh organic produce and the result was tremendously successful. The pre-kindergarten classes engaged in a wide variety of activities and linked some of these activities to the concept of love, peace and social relationships. The children were engaged by staff to become an integral part of the celebration. The week ended with a lovely late afternoon tea where parents and friends were the guests. This celebration of cooperation, food and nutrition was tremendously successful in how it introduced children to so many different foods. The Toddler I class engaged in a variety of cultural celebrations representing staff, children, parents and others and ended with children planting a “Peace Garden.”
“Music and Social Change; Folk Music in our Shared History”
Karen Kosko, Folk New England and Haggerty School
As a continuation of our “Stories through Song” curriculum we brought in singer/songwriter Alastair Moock, 2014 GRAMMY Nominee, Parents' Choice Gold Medal Winner, and three-time National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA) Gold Medal Winner to conduct 2 musical sessions with our students. During these musical presentations Alastair demonstrated how music is storytelling and how powerful & timely music can unite people, issues and generations. Cooperation and collaboration was encouraged when students learned about the story behind the songs and were then encouraged to find their own meaning. To further enhance their experience they were expected to interview a family or community member about their “folk music”, listen to excerpts of music and discuss the importance of music in immigration and struggle.