Peace Scholars: Learning Through Literature

BY Bethany Valine

Orleans Elementary School

Project Description

The ultimate goal of education and learning is to produce individuals who think critically about themselves and the world around them, construct creative solutions to problems, and evaluate objectively their thinking and actions. The goal of this program is for children to solve their conflicts peacefully by controlling their anger and impulsiveness, treating each person’s feelings with respect, developing positive self-esteem and taking responsibility for their actions. Students are taught that they can make a positive difference in the world, whether that “”world”” is their class, their home and family, their community, or even the entire planet, in their own unique way. My goal is that each student at OES have the opportunity to participate in this program at least once in their tenure from grade K-5. I have portions of the program for the middle grades at this point. I am requesting the kindergarten and grade 5 program for continuity.

How will the project be evaluated (e.g. how will you gauge its success)

Pre- and post- assessments of progress will be taken for each child who participates. In addition, the students will be collecting their work – both process and product – in a portfolio to take home at the conclusion of the program.

Benefit to the students and the school

The foundation of all peace education and conflict resolution training is that the learning environment is the most critical element of a successful class. It is only in a positive environment that students learn to work and play cooperatively, develop positive self-esteem and develop an enthusiasm for learning. Therefore, the ultimate goal is to benefit the community of Orleans Elementary School and to improve relationships with peers, improve behavior, and increase student enthusiasm toward school. Building a solid foundation of learning will further benefit the middle school and high school as our students move on.

Timeline of Project (when will you do the project, if applicable)

As soon as I receive the program and this will continue over the next 3 years. If successful, it will continue beyond that.