“What are ways you can create peace in your community” I asked the room of wide eyed kids. “What does it mean to be peaceful?”
“To be nice to your sister!” One kid offered.
“Visit the elderly.” Voiced another. “Pick up trash even if it isn’t yours!” Piped a third.
“Not yell,” yelled another.
We talked about how to create peace within ourselves and how to extend it to others and then I told them we were going to create our own peaceful community. The tables were covered with pieces of cardboard boxes cut into all kinds of small and large shapes. These scraps of moving boxes would become the windows, doors, chimneys, and roofs on the buildings of their community of peace. They created replicas of aunties’ homes with brightly colored front doors, pet shops, corner stores, ice cream shops, schools and libraries, and my favorite- waffle house. It was so inspiring to see the kind of world they imagine and I can't wait to see the world they create!
This project was also especially fun because thanks to one of our awesome summer interns, we were able to display the kids' work from this project in the gallery space at the Decatur Public Library. The kids got to see their artwork hanging up for all to see and we even hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony!