IMAGINE Magazine Autumn 2015 Volume 1 Number 1 - Page 26

tary schools the peace curriculum that has had great success in Kenya, Mexico and Nepal. CWPO staff and volunteers have deep experience working with both public and private schools and have equipped more than 20,000 children in those countries with peace skills since 2010. (www.cwpo.org) The curriculum calls for each class to engage in a 45-minute to one-hour peace lesson once a week for the entire school year. Currently there is a 40-week curriculum introducing a variety of peace activities/lessons that are grade and age appropriate. “The core curriculum covers areas such as: conflict resolution/prevention, critical thinking, decision-making, creativity, listening skills, imagination, concentration and cooperation (teamwork),” according to Day. Through dance, story, song, drawings, and “circles of self awareness,” young people become fully supported in developing both inner and outer peace. Artistic expression on many levels promotes the recognition of that which unites us in our common humanity. With an MBA from Harvard and an MA in counseling, Day is passionate about the possibility 26 IMAGINE l Autumn 2015 of having a life-changing peace curriculum in elementary schools throughout the world. Building on the success of the program and its measurable results, he has recently turned his attention to the United States. He chose Sedona, Arizona as a potential first city to embrace the peace curriculum in one of its schools. Happily, the Sedona Charter School, the oldest charter school in Arizona, has agreed to adopt the CWPO peace curriculum and will introduce it in every classroom, from kindergarten through eighth grade, starting in the fall of 2015. With each class in a school participating, new positive conversations and behaviors arise that create a recognizable culture of peace. When children naturally begin to exhibit more compassion, kindness, and an authentic openness and respect for one another, they discover what unites and connects them. The result is contagious, and the ripple effect creates new positive relationships with their families, their community and beyond. The stand-alone peace curriculum now provides an effective way to introduce teachers themselves to the simple, easy to follow, and thoughtfully developed lessons. Previously, CWPO staff and volunteers came into schools to conduct the lessons once a week. The Sedona Charter School (www.sedonacharterschool.com), established in 1995, as a Montessoribased education environment, will have the distinction of being the first school in the United States to introduce the CWPO curriculum to children starting in kindergarten through the eighth grade. It is hoped this effort to foster cultures of peace in elementary schools grows and brings peace leadership and compassion to the world from the ground up. Making our children’s schools more peaceful The purpose of the Children’s World Peace Organization is to share the skills that enable children to enjoy a more peaceful environment in their schools and communities and, by feeling safer and more secure, empower them to grow up to create a more peaceful world. Their vision statement states: We believe we can learn the skills necessary to create a more peaceful world. We hold the vision that someday every classroom in the world will offer our (or a similar) peace curriculum as a reflection of the values of the world in which we live.