Peace Tales

Peace Tales are real-life examples of the transformative impact that Peace First has upon the students we serve and the adults we engage. Below are recent Peace Tales that illustrate how we have changed children’s beliefs, attitudes and behaviors, as told by our staff.

“Two students, Shawn and Craig, approached me because another boy, Lewis, had kicked Shawn. We talked to Lewis, who apologized, saying that he thought they were playing. Craig replied, “Can you be more careful in the future because it makes me feel bad when you hurt my friend.” Shawn continued, “Yeah, please? I wasn’t playing, but I accept your apology.” Shawn extended his hand to Lewis and they shook on it. When I complimented the boys on how they resolved the conflict, they replied, “Oh, that’s what we learned last year in Peace First...to talk about our feelings and solve our problems with peace.”

“During a Kindergarten lesson, Kayden and Luis began to argue over the crayons that had been given for their activity. Each student was supposed to draw something that made them special. Kayden and Luis’s argument became disruptive until Daria, another student, walked up to them and said, “We have to share the crayons because we are all peacemakers, and peacemakers are nice people and good friends.” Kayden gave his crayons to Luis and they both completed the activity quietly. When it was time to share their drawings, Kayden told the class that what made him special was having his friends care about him."

"After the game, we asked students what they thought about it. A girl named Natalia raised her hand and said, ‘I liked this game a lot because even though I’m not friends with everyone, we all worked together and had fun. I think I even made a new friend!’”

“After noticing that our fourth grade class had difficulties working in groups, my teaching partner and I designed a lesson that would help the students learn to work together. We began with a brainstorming session about what teamwork is and why it is important, and then took the students outside to play a Peace First game called Toxic Swamp Challenge. The game forced the students to work together; it was amazing to see students cheering for each other and going backwards across the swamp to help their classmates who were still at the starting line."

"After the game, we asked students what they thought about it. A girl named Natalia raised her hand and said, ‘I liked this game a lot because even though I’m not friends with everyone, we all worked together and had fun. I think I even made a new friend!’”

“In a 5th grade class, gossiping and rumors have become a problem. Through Peace First lessons, we frequently discussed gossip and how to react as a peacemaker and diffuse the situation. One day, a student, Elisha, was excited to share with us that she had reacted positively when gossip had begun to circulate about her. Her name had been written on the bathroom wall next to another student’s name. Elisha’s first reaction was to go read the wall and confront whoever wrote it with a fight, but she remembered the skills we had talked about in Peace First and decided to not react to the rumor. Instead of going to the bathroom to read what was written, she talked out her feelings with her trusted friends, who supported her by helping her forget about the rumors. Elisha was very proud of her decision to use what she had learned in Peace First and rise above the gossip and to react peacefully. Since that day, Elisha was always the first to share ways to de-escalate a conflict.”

“Recently, I was approached in the hallway by a 5th grade student, Naomi, who was frequently disruptive in her classes. Through scheduling changes she was no longer in my Peace First class, and I was eager to see how she was doing. I asked her and she replied, “Mary, I have changed a lot.” When I asked her what had changed Naomi said, “I don’t yell, I speak to my teachers with respect, and I resolve conflicts. I’ve been trying to talk out my problems with the person I have the problem with” I smiled and asked where she learned the skills from, “Peace First!” I was so proud of Naomi for taking the skills we hand worked on in Peace First and applying them to make positive change in her life.”