The Peace Center teaches young people concepts of peace and shows practical ways to implement them into their lives. All this is done through fun, hands-on activities which tends to be internalized more than lecturing alone.
This is an amazing hands-on experience for children. It is mobile so can go to many different types of venues to reach many children in various settings. The hands-on exhibits teach children basic peace enhancing skills in 4 main areas. Children love to "play" with the activities, while the peace lesson is being reinforced. Children understanding peace concepts at an early age will have a positive impact as they grow up, in their own lives and the lives of others.
The Children's Peace Center offers lots of fun activities to help children learn conflict resolution and develop strong and thoughtful relationships. Children learn teamwork and the importance of respect, discipline, and kindness in creating a cooperative world. Their programs are fun, informative, and thought provoking. I'm proud to be part of this organization.
This wonderfulall-volunteer organization makes itself available to various groups, including schools and camps, to teach children concepts to help them resolve conflicts; learn compassion, respect, and techniques to work together to solve problems. A traveling museum, the Children's PEACE Center is an excellent teaching tool. Individual classrooms and entire schools can benefit from a visit to the Peace Mobile.
I've been involved with this since it' s inception. As the President and Director I've seen many lives changed as we taught the programs on making better choices, learning to control emotions, getting along with others, conflict resolution, understanding different cultures and our place on the planet. I've witnessed a boy change from a rowdy youngster that was tearing everything up to a proud mentor of younger children helping them learn what he learned. I've seen parents learn to communicate better with their children and both learned to listen more effectively to each other. I've seen CEO's decide they needed to listen more and talk less to their employees. I've been thrilled when the young children tell others what they learned in the peace centers. We've been proud to have reached thousands of children and seen lives changed and thought processes change for the positive. We do this to touch lives, change attitudes and create a more peaceful future for children and families.
I'm biased as I'm the Executive Director. But I've seen so many lives changed by the programs presented and the way they help children learn to work together, see that they can resolve their own conflicts, how to avoid bullies and make better life choices. I've seen children that were tagged "the bad kids" work together and learn that teamwork is much more fun than being a bully. I've seen tears and anger turn into smiles and better attitudes just by playing these creative "games" which teach good life skills and being allowed to discuss things and be listened to. The learning centers are all hands-on, interactive activities that allow children to practice and learn to think things through. While they may be using puppets, drama, crafts, drawing, desiging, and building things, they all teach some sort of peacemaking skills such as communication, conflict resolution, taking care of yourself, building self esteem, working together, enhancing good character traits, understanding ecology and how things all work together as well as understanding different cultures. These programs have been used in schools, Homeschool groups, churches, camps, Day camps, After School programs, and special events. We operate these programs with lots of volunteers willing to take the required training and with many donations. We try to provide the programs especially to Title One Schools (low income, high risk) free or at greatly reduced fees if we have the donations or grants available to cover the basic expenses. Because we are an all volunteer organization, our costs are minimal which allows almost all donations to be used directly to provide programs for the children. The programs are brought to the location to save expenses for the participants. Many events are done for free just so the message can be shared with the elementary aged children and their families. As with most non-profits, the lack of funds does not allow the expansion of services that is desired and does not allow the future dream of a permanent peace center where all can come to learn to be a reality. We also lack regular volunteers that can be on-call. But the full time volunteer staff are all very dedicated and willing to work out whatever problems comes up in order to provide the programs when requested.
As I've worked with these programs and shared with the children I think I have learned much more than the pariticpants. One second grade girl stated "I learned that if you work as a team, you can have fun and learn a lot, even if you don't like the people you are with." I have learned that same concept along the way too. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all grasp that concept? I think the Children's PEACE Center has the basic answers for all of us to learn to get along more and communicate better. I've really enjoyed presenting these programs since 1996. We've had the opportunity to present them in locations from Florida to Canada and have helped other groups start similar programs. I've been asked if I didn't want to do something different and I can't image doing anything else. Helping children learn to think things through and seeing them make better life choices, avoiding drugs, alchohol and damaging behaviors, has to be the greatest reward anyone receive. Building up our future leaders as kind, thoughtful and able to manage emotions and conflicts is the only way I can see that we'll have peaceful lives.