Published : Tuesday, November 10, 2015 | 1:30 PM
At the beginning of the year, Mrs. Shoemake’s Kindergarten class talked about peace and what the students thought about it as a way to think and act. They read books to gain new ideas about peace and they talked about what they could do to express peace in the classroom.
This idea of being a peacemaker is put into everything students do—from how they are expected to act, how they take care things in the classroom, and how they interact with each other. The goal of this activity is to let the peace expressed in the Kindergarten classroom grow until it helps the whole world be more peaceful.
They also learned about prizes that are awarded for people who do something extraordinary in the world to promote peace. They learned that there is even a special prize that is given to children—the International Children’s Peace Prize.
A few years ago, Mrs. Shoemake started an activity of allowing students to earn their own versions of the peace prize. The prizes were modeled after the five different ethical traits taught at Clairbourn. There are peace prizes for Citizenship, Responsibility, Respect, Honesty, and Spirituality.
These prizes are to given out for exceptional expressions of these qualities—so, they’re not given out all the time. When someone earns a prize, the class is gathered together to talk about why an individual student earned the prize, and then the class gives a big cheer to congratulate the winner.
Recently, the Kindergarten class learned about a seven year-old boy named Aiden who was on the news for finding $8,000 in cash tucked into a checkbook left behind on the playground. He and his uncle turned it into the police so it could be restored to the proper owner.
The students were very impressed with Aiden’s actions and decided to write him a letter praising him for his honest act. Inside the envelope they included one of their classroom’s Peace Prizes for Honesty.
See their letter to Aiden below:
In our Kindergarten, we are learning about being peacemakers. We heard about you on the news, and we think you are a wonderful peacemaker! In our class, we get different peace prizes for being peacemakers. We think you earned and deserve an Honesty Peace Prize because you returned the money. We included it with our letter. We think you are SO awesome!
The Dragonflies Kindergarten Class
Clairbourn School, 8400 Huntington Drive, San Gabriel, (626) 286-3108 or visit www.clairbourn.org.