Thursday, September 25, 2014

Every Day is Peace Day at Lafayette!

This past Sunday was the 30th annual International Day of Peace as established by the United Nations. It is a day to call for non-violence and peaceful interactions among all peoples and nations. 

We are so fortunate to be at a school like Lafayette, where we can celebrate Peace Day every day. There are no other schools in the metro DC area that devote as much time, energy, and resources to teaching kids about peace and conflict resolution as we do here at Lafayette.

Friday, September 19, 2014

September Back-to-School Transitions

Greetings Parents! Welcome back to school year 2014-2015.  It is now the middle of September and your child has already been in school several weeks.  The weather is beginning to transition from summer to fall.  Change is always happening in each of us and in the world around us.  We instill resiliency and teach our children success by helping them adjust to change.  Here are a few tips for a successful adjustment to school this year.  Enjoy!  

Harriet Lurensky Kuhn, M.A., M.Ed., NCSP, LPC.   Psychologist, Lafayette Elementary School and Kozy Girl, CGC, AKC/TDI Therapy Dog

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Peace Classes Underway!

Welcome to another peaceful year at Lafayette!  Lafayette's unique mindfulness and social emotional learning program, Peace of Mind, is in full swing.  Peace Classes started with Ms. Ryden teaching second - fifth grade and Ms. Diesner teaching our Early Childhood grades.  We are learning about mindfulness and having fun with some "getting to know you" activities.  In fifth grade we watched a wonderful video about kindness (actually a life insurance commercial from Thailand!).  The kids loved it so much that I told them that I would post it here on our blog so that they could share it with you.  I hope you enjoy it.  Be prepared to shed a happy tear.

If you are new to Lafayette, you might be wondering what the Peace program is all about.  There is a description of the program on the school website ( and you are always free to come in and check it out for yourself.  Kids seem to get it intuitively, but parents sometimes ask me what Peace Class is all about.  They wonder if it's some kind of hippie throwback.  In fact, Peace Class is a cutting edge program based on the latest research about how children learn and grow and thrive.  We all know that it's no longer enough to teach the 3Rs.  In this fast-paced and sometimes violent world it is crucial that we give our children the tools they need to be happy, mindful, emotionally intelligent, and able to move through the world peacefully and with confidence.

We could call it "Conflict Resolution, Mindfulness, Emotional Intelligence, Anger Management, Anxiety Reduction, Empathy Development, Communication, Compassion, Bullying Prevention, Friendship Skills, Assertiveness Training, and Make the World a Better Place Class" but that's a bit unwieldy so we settle on "Peace Class" instead.  So try to let go of any '60's-era connotations you may have of the word peace and see if for what it is here at Lafayette: A class that helps us to educate the whole child.  A class devoted to the heart and the mind. A class that will give your child some of the most important skills they will ever learn.

- Linda Ryden