Heavenly: A Visit to USIP

On Tuesday, July 10 we all went to the US Institute of Peace to watch a seminar about implementing peace strategies in the classroom. For me, the entire experience was kind of enlightening. First of all, I knew the government wanted to create peace, not war, because that’s sort of every politician’s motto for their campaign, but to find out that there is a whole organization that Congress created dedicated to creating peace really shocked me.

During the seminar, 3 teachers from different schools in different areas of the country that teach different subjects had to basically report on how their students reacted to the peace curriculum they were given through these things called Peace Toolkits and even what they probably learned about being a peace teacher. The part of the seminar where the teachers were presenting was a little funny to me. Being a student and noticing the way the teachers presented is similar to how students present, with confidence but a little nervousness behind it all.

Towards the end, after hearing how the students really accepted the peace material, where they were from, and what type of students they were, I was confused on how the teachers got the kids excited about the Peace Toolkit and really inspired them to fully participate and take what they’re learning and apply it to their life. So when people in the crowd got to ask questions, that’s what my question was, and after the teachers tried their best to answer along with a few conversations I had with other people that were in the audience, I realized that there wasn’t a single answer to my question. I thought about it, and teachers can and should think of things to really encourage kids like games or role play, but if someone, not just kids, has a set mindset on something, there’s only so much you can do to change their mind. Despite that epiphany of mine, I’ve decided to look into the Peace Toolkit and use it in my everyday life, and encourage my friends, family, and even peers to as well. It was a good day.

Heavenly Anderson
Friendship Collegiate Academy

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