This week, October 17-21, AES celebrated Peace in the Middle School. This year Peace Week centered around the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declarataion of Human Rights(UDHR). Joanna Kempkers, the New Zealand High Commissioner, kicked off our week-long celebration with an all MS assembly where she talked about her work as High Commissioner to promote peace and the UDHR.
During our Advisory time each day this week, we talked about our definitions of Universal Rights, and students were asked to:
PLEDGE: Join thousands of others on the UN website pledging to uphold human rights. #StandUp4HumanRights
SPEAK UP: Let your voice be heard by recording your article of choice in your home language. The UN is making an official video of these–send yours in! #StandUp4HumanRights #RightsOutLoud
CREATE: Create a #PeaceDayGoogleDoodle using our school code 0071
We ended our Peace Week celebrations with a fun Kahoot! and everyone wearing white on Friday to pose for an all MS photo just outside our appropriately named Hall of Peace.
A big thank you to Ms. Al Moreno and Ms. Vosk for their direction and organization of the week’s activities and Mr. Elliott for taking our all school photo! What an awesome week to be an AES middle schooler.
This year’s Peace Day theme was “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety, & Dignity for All”. Middle School students planned the week under the leadership of Ms. Al Moreno.
The founder of One Hen and the inspiration behind our Social Entrepreneurship class, Katie Milway Smith, joined the Middle School on Tuesday for a special assembly, where she talked about her program and read a story about Deo and his banana leaf ball.
Students spent time thinking about positive ways to promote respect, safety, and dignity for all by finding things that make them feel peaceful and thinking about how they can share these things with others, just as Deo, the character in Katie Milway Smith’s book did with soccer.
Todd Parr is the author of many books about inclusivity, peace, and taking pride in who you are as an individual. We used one of his books, The Peace Book, to also help with the purpose this week. Students read the book and then created a “piece of peace” drawing or saying that will be put together as a whole puzzle early next week.
On Friday, students and faculty also enjoyed some time together in many fun activities including, poetry, meditation, reading, making friendship bracelets, playing field games, hula hooping, and strategy games to name a few.
A wonderful week of celebrating Peace in the AES Middle School!
Our theme for Peace Week this year was “Who will you make Peace with?” The activities ranged from individual advisory lessons/discussions to lunch activities to an assembly celebration and a partnership with the ES.
Each day we had a focus: peace in our world, peace in myself, peace in the middle school, and peace in our community. Students watched this video about the Sustainable Development Goals. We had a Peace Pillar for students to write their personal next steps for peace. And we ended the week with elementary and middle school students collaborating to Chalk the Walk with messages of peace all around campus. You can find more on our Instagram account, and also in the photos below.
This year, our Peace Week theme was “Peace in Our Community”. The activities ranged from all school activities to individual advisory lessons/discussions. All students participated in the Peace Activists Daily Challenge, where clues were read over the intercom each day and students had to guess who the peace activist was based on the clues. In advisories, students also made a connection between peace and our MS beliefs, they brainstormed how to resolve conflict for different scenarios, they participated in an activity called “Where do you stand?” where they had to find where they sat on a peace/conflict continuum for different situations, they read various peace quotes and found out what resonated with them. In our weekly assembly, we enjoyed the video below, created by high school students. At the end of the week, advisories created sidewalk art with a message of peace and inspiration.
At assembly this week, the Middle School student Climate Committee presented the No Cussing Challenge. Check out their presentation and the accompanying video that provided the inspiration. (Please note: the video was created in affiliation with a religious group, however the message and ideas are relevant no matter your belief system.)
We celebrated Peace Week through advisory, assembly and with lunchtime Peace videos. Each advisory created a mandala that is made up of who we are as individuals and the similarities that we found among us, as well as celebrating our diversity here at AES.
Day 1: Peace in who I am–Celebrating How We’re Different
Students took some time to reflect on and celebrate what makes us, us! Students rotated around to 8 different stations and wrote down their personal response to each of the questions on the white paper cutout. The focus was to celebrate our individuality–what’s special and different about each of us.
Students reflected on the question: How does recognizing, appreciating, and celebrating our diversity help promote peace in our middle school?
Students also came dressed up for school in international clothes. Our goal – to celebrate our diversity.
Happy International Peace Day, September 21, 2013! What a great week celebrating Peace in our Middle School!
On Monday, Peace Week was kicked off with a great opening assembly. The theme was ‘Our Piece of Peace: In yourself, in our community, in our world’. Our theme of Peace, this year, was enhanced by a connection with the American School in Japan (ASIJ). Through Peace Poems, Peace Pledges, Crane Folding and the story of Sadako, your children empathized and considered the need for Peace in our world. As a group, we watched the following video.
Peace One Day 2013 Campaign – Jude Law
Over the course of the week, students were asked to think about what Peace means to them…
What word comes to mind when you think of Peace within yourself?
What word comes to mind when you think of Peace within our community?
What word comes to mind when you think of Peace within our world?
Additionally, students spent advisories and lunch periods folding cranes that will later be taken to a memorial at Hiroshima by our peers at the American School in Japan. Check out the fun pictures of our students making cranes.
Part of the AES Values is that “Every person has the responsibility to contribute to peace and harmony in the world.” Peace week has highlighted this value and helped bring the importance of Peace into focus for all of us. Special thanks to our Peace Committee: Ms. Chatterjea, Ms. Lowen, Ms. Al Moreno, Mr. Sheridan and Ms. Krueger.