We always love to brag about our committed college students who share their unique skills and passions for peace as mentors to our Perry Peace Room Kids. We will continue this in the new year, and in fact, are able to double our praises. In addition to our growing Georgetown and George Washington volunteer groups, our University of Maryland students have doubled their presence in the Peace Room! Recently, the group came and talked about journaling and drawing with the students. We had so many mentors that they were able to pair up one-on-one with the Peace Kids. It was an awesome afternoon of self-esteem building as the children were receiving the care and attention that they so deserve. Vaughn was very taken with one of the volunteers named Matt. They drew pictures of their favorite activities and then exchanged drawings. Matt declared that he would post Vaughn's picture in his dorm room and Vaughn said that he would post Matt's picture in his bedroom.
Three of the Maryland students have selected LFFP as their organizational site for their Public Leaders class. These students will work with MJ on creating and executing a project that benefits LFFP while also giving them leadership experience. They have discussed taking a role in fostering increased family participation in LFFP, already talking of activities at the Peace Cafe and in going into nature.
An especially moving day was in celebration of the great peacemaker, Martin Luther King, Jr. In honor of his national holiday, the Perry Peace Kids held a birthday party and watched a video of MLK's impact. Then, in honor of Dr. King, they shared their own dreams for a peaceful world.
Chef Timmy has continued to nurish the Peace Room by leading the kids in preparing and enjoying healthy meals. Homemade pizza was a big hit as the kids learned to knead the bread and spread out the cheese and veggies. Another day, at the request of some of the students, the Peace Meal consisted of chicken, rice, corn, and biscuits. The weekly Peace Cafe is continuing to initiate sharing, conversation, and the planting of healthy food decisions for the children and their parents who pick them up and often also get to join in and partake of the healthy treats.