Peacemakers began in 2005 as a six-week after-school program in an elementary school. Created and developed by Ann Perrin, CND, an educator and licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, the program is now a part of the University of Scranton Graduate Counseling Practicum experience.
Provide a space and experience where children aged 9-13 and college mentors can explore not only the meaning, history and vision of peacemaking, but actually work together to make it happen in their group experiences, in their families, social circles and schools. Hopefully through this experience the participants will be empowered to be builders of peace in our society. We also look at peace as a reality within each person and as a reality to be nurtured among us.
Peace dwells in each one of us; it is a part of our very being. Peace is energy. Peace is a reality to be nurtured within each person, among us and in our environment. Peace provides us with the tools to make peace outside of ourselves.
Peacemaking is an activity, which can be both great fun and hard work. Peacemaking keeps peace alive and well within us and within other. Peacemaking includes making peace with our bodies, each other, the earth and our world. Peacemaking is more than conflict resolution and goes beyond tolerance. We are carriers of peace to all who share life with us.
The program is divided into six meetings, each including a snack, centering, activities centered on a theme, journal writing, a take home letter to family and a carry over action.
- Week 1: Introduction/Vision
What is Peace? Where is Peace?
- Week 2: Interaction and/or Actual Peace Makers
Peace between persons
- Week 3: Care of/respect of
Peace with our bodies
- Week 4: Appreciation/care of
Peace with the earth
- Week 5: Awareness of peoples and/or situations unlike ours
Peace among all peoples
- Week 6: Celebration of Peace
The program is interactive, including sharing, snacking and playing. We do centering meditation/prayer, creative imagery exercises, and journaling. We learn peaceful ways to treat our bodies and care for our environment. Past activities have included: school bulletin boards, peace garden, visits from peace makers and culturally diverse persons, interactive internet communication, and a local newspaper interview. Weekly letters are sent home so peace can be integrated into our lived experience and nurtured in the family system. Arts and crafts projects, games, the parachute, buddy walkers, music and books have all been enjoyed in the past.
At the conclusion of the program, we decorate our own t-shirts with peaceful symbols and sign one another’s shirts as Peacemakers. Everyone is always so happy when they finish the sessions and are eager to be added to the list for next year!
This program can be adapted to a summer camp experience, a five-day school experience, a family retreat, etc. Feel free to use this website as a resource.