“If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children.” — M.K. Gandhi
A vital part of working for peace is learning the skills to be peacemakers.
Children today are barraged with violent images through products geared towards them including violent-themed toys and media such as television, movies and computer games. They also see the real violence of war every night on television and in print media. They may also experience real violence themselves in their homes and neighborhoods. These experiences condition children to accept the unacceptable—that interpersonal violence and war are normal activities and can solve problems.
Our Children and Nonviolence Project addresses how children can learn the skills of nonviolent conflict resolution, respect for diversity and other pro-social values. We work with parents and teachers to educate them about the issue and to help them provide them with alternatives: reading materials, toys and media that demonstrate and reinforce nonviolent, creative ways to solve problems.
Some of our work has included:
- Activities with our Partner school—Darnall E Charter School, including recognition for 10 years of partnership, literature tables at school events, participation in Dr. Suess’ birthday activities and a presentation at graduation
- Promotion of our School and Classroom Pledges of Nonviolence. Our partnership school has made the pledge an ongoing part of their school program, with all classes adopting the pledge.
- Participation in conferences, including the California Association for the Education of Young Children’s annual conference as part of a special “Peaceful Room”
- Presentations to parents’ groups and/or teachers—this year to Palmer Way Preschool, Mira Mesa Parent Participation, Avondale Preschool and La Mesa Head Start
- Workshops at the California Head Start Association’s annual conference
- Partnering with Eveoke Dance Studio’s Day in the Park for “Give Peace a Dance”—providing activities for children including instrument making, face painting and peace origami
- Continued distribution of our handouts about teaching peace
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT SPEAKERS AND PROJECT RESOURCES:
Download our Children and Nonviolence Resources (PDF)