A couple of weeks ago, my eldest daughter, a grade five student, comes home from school waving yet another paper in my face, accompanied by a flurry of commentary I am unable to decipher.
“Whoa. Take it down a thousand. May I read it?” I ask her, more or less in those words, while trying to avoid getting poked in the eye.
“Oh, yeah!” She succumbs, flush with anticipation. The paper suddenly stills.
Beneath the title on the page, Peace Tree Spirit–Developing Community and Cultural Literacy, is the following quote:
Let us embrace the beauty of every culture and faith to create peace on earth.
A quick search online helps me understand that the goal of introducing the Peace Tree Spirit (there is also a Peace Tree Day in June) is to foster an environment of acceptance, diversity, inclusion and peace not only in our schools but in our communities. Peace Tree ambassadors connect with other children around the world through this network to share ideas of how to promote peace.
So it is way cool that not only is my daughter’s school invited to participate in YRDSB’s 8th Annual Conference themed “Thinking Globally – Acting Locally” but that she is one of four children selected to represent their students. The day-long conference is targeted towards grades 5 & 6 students and includes workshops for students and teachers with subjects like Human Rights for Youth and Empowering Girls Around the World and Building Bridges of Peace. Participants will later be asked to share the information on this Equity and Inclusive Education Student Conference with their classmates so that they can all benefit from the experience.
The following links give some additional insight into the interpretation and implementation of the Peace Tree Spirit in our schools:
I will be chauffeuring my daughter to the conference on Thursday, October 24th and am so proud that she will experience what the Peace Tree Spirit represents. This will be a huge learning experience for her and I look forward to sharing her insights with you.