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April 24, 2019A Day with Peacemakers
Meet Samantha, Amanda, & KC Dog… They may look like your everyday women and puppet but to the VPK and Kindergarten students of Pinellas County Schools, they’re basically celebrities. Sam, Amanda, & KC Dog travel to classrooms throughout Pinellas County delivering CASA’s Peacemakers Curriculum to VPK & Kindergarten students.
Peacemakers is CASA’s five-week Anti-Violence & Healthy Relationship Curriculum which nurtures values of peace and justice. In addition to teaching students how to resolve conflict in a calm and kind manner, they learn about their individuality and respect for one another’s uniqueness.
In this week’s lesson, the students learned that the same things that make each of them different are the same things that make each of them special. After reading the book, The Colors of Us by Karen Katz, each child discovered their special shade of brown by mixing multicultural paints ranging from “almond” to “ebony” on their hands to match their skin tone. Each child then placed their handprints on a Peacemaker Pledge as a promise to be a peaceful person.
Once each child had a chance to learn their special shade of “cinnamon-olive” or “bronze-caramel” they finished the morning with a visit from KC the dog. KC did a great job of keeping the energy high yet peaceful with his silly temperament and story about his puppy pals who look different than him. KC finished the lesson by giving an example of a time his kind words didn’t resolve conflict so he instead chose to walk away. Sam, Amanda, and KC placed the second piece (Walk Away) of the class Peace Puzzle on their magnetic board next to week one’s piece, Use Your Words.
When it was time to say goodbye, Samantha reminded the class to give their brain a kiss, by which each student kissed their hand and gently placed it atop their head to thank their brain for helping them learn and remember the peaceful lesson.
As Sam and Amanda left the campus there were cheerful children shouting “Bye Peacemakers!!” throughout the halls. It was clear by the children’s enthusiasm that the impact Sam and Amanda have on the young children throughout Pinellas County schools lasts far longer than the five-week session.
In addition to VPK/Kindergarten, CASA teaches a Peacemakers curriculum for elementary and middle school students. For more information or to have Peacemakers come to your school contact Elyssa Broussard at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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