Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Some Recent Happenings in the Peace Room at Perry

Hands and Hearts

Tracing hands is an easy art project to do with children. Usually it's just for something to do, whether turning it into a turkey around Thanksgiving or a design on a home-made t-shirt. But we decided to draw our hands with the Perry School kids to think about all the positive things we do with them. Peace can sometimes seem like an abstract concept, but as we traced our hands and pasted them on construction paper, we remember that peace starts in our hearts and gets put into action through the work of our hands. Words like "cooking," "hugging," "gardening," and "building" were written by the kids as they thought about all the different things their hands do and, combined on the larger poster, we all drew ourselves being peacemakers with our hands too.

Contagious Love Experiment

The Contagious Love Experiment was the theme for the month of February. Two Iraq War veterans walked and biked across the U.S. having learned the lesson in war that love can be just as contagious as fear (www.contagiousloveexperiment.wordpress.com). One of them, Josh Stieber, who grew up near DC, has returned to the area and spends two afternoons a week at the Perry School. Together with Little Friends for Peace, we've all been learning that it doesn't just take big trips across the country to work for peace, but even the smallest decisions and actions we take every day have the potential to spread fear and anger... or, though often much harder, love and understanding.

Peace Cafe

The Peace Cafe is a highlight for the students at the Perry School. There have been a few times when scheduling has pushed back the cafe and these delays are met with great disappointment. Fortunately those times and rare and just go to show how important it is to work together to prepare food and dine as friends. Sometimes there is bickering over who does what in the kitchen, but the task of cooking as a team has helped us to learn to work together in ways that doing crafts as individuals or pairs can't. Some days take longer than others, but at the end of it, it's satisfying to know that they skills we learned in teamwork and overcoming our disagreements has come together into a delicious meal that we can all enjoy.

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