An important (and dearly loved) part of our Peace curriculum is dedicated to learning about people who, historically and presently, have changed our world for the better. We call these people, folks like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Jane Goodall, Gandhi, Jack Greenburg, along with many others, the “Changemakers.” Our curriculum includes early childhood in the biographies of the leaders we cover, highlighting how leaders are developed in childhood, not just as adults, and how children can do amazing things too. As we talk about and dissect the lives and impact of our Changemaker of study, the awe, brilliance, compassion, and depth of conversation and understanding shown by the Lower Elementary students could stop anyone in their tracks. We believe that kids can, and do, handle and tackle hefty matters. Our current project, thought up and endeavored upon by the Lower Elementary students, is proof of that.
After learning about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on his birthday, the things he fought against and what he stood for, and how he began his campaign for justice as just a young boy, students felt empowered to make their own voices heard in the fight for what they believe in. Integrated with our creative writing unit, students are naming problems they see in our world (pollution/littering, deforestation, animal rights, homelessness, gender equity, and discrimination to name a few) and have been tirelessly crafting speeches to get the word out for their cause. Students are standing up for what they believe, and are passionate about becoming Changemakers themselves, confident that they, too, can make a difference in this world. Keep an eye out for the next phase of this incredible project- spreading awareness!