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.
While mindfulness gains traction and attention nationally and locally, most educational approaches include short-term training sessions and then the program is done. When I read about "Kindness Week" or "Bully-Prevention Month" or "6-weeks of Mindfulness" that other schools are doing, I think "Wow, that's great, but what about the rest of the year?" 

At Lafayette we are teaching ALL children about kindness, conflict resolution, and mindfulness every week, for the entire school year. When I confer with other elementary school counselors and they find out I teach 14 classes per week, every week, on social-emotional learning, they are amazed. When they find out we have a Peace Teacher who teaches 19 classes every week, they are blown away. All of this is IN ADDITION to our traditional counseling program that is also robust. We devote this much time to social emotional learning because we know it prevents problems down the road and equips children to handle all sorts of situations and conflicts much more successfully. This includes being less-stressed about academics and better-focused learners.

So this is why you will not hear about Lafayette celebrating "Peace Day" or having an "anti-bullying assembly." We work on these things every day, all year, with all of our students. We do this because we are passionate about equipping children to handle all that life can throw at them. Plus, we love your children. So happy Peace Day, every day, to everyone at Lafayette!


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