Thursday, May 26, 2022 |
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In Mahatma Ghandi’s great wisdom he knew “if we are to have world peace, it must begin with the children.” With this philosophy in mind Laura Taylor founded the Aloha Peace Project here in 1999, a news release states.
Since 2000 she and her dedicated volunteers have been sharing fundamental life skills with Kaua‘i’s elementary school children. Kapa‘a Elementary was the first school to embrace the program and now peace lessons are shared with students at Wilcox, King Kaumuali‘i, and ‘Ele‘ele as well.
The hope is to have the program in all of Kaua‘i’s elementary schools. With more volunteers this can become a reality, the release states.
All of the Aloha Peace Project’s lessons and activities are designed to teach children ways to create peace in their daily lives and in their world. Each grade has its own age appropriate curriculum and all of it is linked to the current state content standards.
Beginning with the fundamental premise that “peace begins with me”, students are encouraged to discover the beauty within themselves and the knowledge that each one of them can make a difference in their world.
Through the use of puppet plays, skits, games, exhibits, videos and discussions, the children learn effective and simple strategies to assist them in being peacemakers. Utilizing interactive activities the children are encouraged to share ideas and explore ways in which they can contribute to creating a more peaceful world. The true success of the program lies in developing the “caring majority.”
The curriculum is designed so students in each grade level learn new skills. First graders engage in activities that give them opportunities to be in touch with their feelings. It’s beautiful to witness the light that shines from the children’s eyes when given the opportunity to talk about their feelings in a safe and supportive environment. Even when expressing sadness or anger they are “illuminated” by the opportunity to “be heard.”
Second graders design their own “peacemaker glasses” to remind them to see the world through a peacemakers eyes. They also perform skits enabling them to role-play peacemaking responses in different circumstances. The third and fourth grade curriculum emphasizes “be the one who makes a difference.” The fifth graders learn skills for bully proofing, which came about due to requests from teachers.
One of everyone’s favorite aspects of the Aloha Peace Project are the “peace puppets.” The puppet plays are a fun and engaging way to introduce children to peace making skills. Students are also taught simple hand signals reminding them to “Stop-Think-Peace”. Rainbows and clouds are used to demonstrate how one’s choice of words and actions can make others feel happy or sad.
These are just a few of the ways in which the Aloha Peace Project is providing Kaua‘i’s young children with peace making skills. The students enjoy fun activities and lessons that assist them in developing social skills and help them deal with conflict, the release states. The students are always encouraged to share what they learn with family and friends.
Aloha Peace Project is a completely volunteer based organization. More volunteers are needed to expand the program and introduce more of Kaua‘i’s children to the values of being a “peacemaker.” Working in the classroom is only one of the ways you can be involved, there are numerous other ways in which you can participate. If you believe as Ghandi did “if we are to have world peace, it must begin with the children” please visit www.alohapeaceproject.com to learn more about the ways in which his revelation is being realized here, on a tiny island in the Pacific Ocean. You, too, can “be the one who makes a difference,” the release states.
For more details about volunteer opportunities, call Laura Taylor at 826-6567 or email email@example.com.
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