BY Andrew Staker & Karen Pagano
Wellfleet Elementary School
The theme of this year’s parade is LIVE WELLfleet. The project entails a variety of projects throughout the school year culminating with a rally and parade to which the parents and Wellfleet community are invited. Some of the activities which lead up to the parade are monthly All-School Meetings involving lessons in mindfulness, social awareness, compassion, friendship and community education. Because the theme of the parade is about living well in Wellfleet, we will be providing opportunities for the students to learn more about their town and the environment, especially the ocean. We plan on creating a “PEACE POLE”, made up of individual tiles made by each student, representing their own ideas of peace. We will be learning songs about peace and community in
music class and practicing frequently in preparation of performing them at the rally and parade. We will approach the Wellfleet Board of Selectmen for the third consecutive year, asking that they declare June 5th Piece of Peace day in Wellfleet. We will be silk-screening and tie-dying our own t-shirts, which we will wear the day of the parade. We also plan on creating a life-sized “peace kid”, made out of paper mache and additional materials, that will accompany us in the parade.
How will the project be evaluated (e.g. how will you gauge its success)
We expect that we will have a great turn-out, as we have for the past two years, and consider the attendance of parents and community members the benchmark for success. We will be doing a PRE and POST parade questionnaire that we will ask students, teachers and parents to fill out to help us determine what works and what may need fine-tuning, and to ask for new ideas, comments and suggestions from all involved.
Benefit to the students and the school
Because we have held the parade for two years now, we know that the students, staff, parents and community are directly impacted by the attempts of the students to make a difference in the world. We have observed that the students are more willing to settle conflicts peaceably and speak up for themselves in difficult situations. The students look forward to and help in planning the performances and presentations for the rally and parade; including WORDS OF WISDOM written by the departing 5th graders to share at the rally. The school focuses on care and compassion as part of the curriculum and the peace parade gives everyone a concrete way to demonstrate and celebrate those efforts. We also try to involve the community at large and look to the media to help share information about the event. The response from the Outer Cape Community has been very positive and encouraging over the past two years and we hope to continue the effort to give the students a way to impact those around them.
Timeline of Project (when will you do the project, if applicable)
There are activities throughout the year culminating with our 3rd annual Piece of Peace Parade on Friday, June 5, 2020.