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Lakeville students talk peace



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Lakeville IB Coordinator Christine Vince talks to students about how to make their elementary school and the world a more peaceful place. Photo by Trevor Keiser. (click for larger version)
September 26, 2012 - Lakeville Elementary kicked off their first school assembly of the year talking about peace.

With Sept. 21 being the "International Day of Peace," International Baccalaureate Coordinator Christine Vince talked with students how they can bring peace on a local level in their school. The school's slogan for the year is "Change Starts Here!"

"We know what peace means and they can draw the pictures and that's great, but how do we take action?" Vince said. "We want students to start thinking about how they themselves as individuals start to promote change to make our school community a more peaceful place."

As a fun way to decorate the cafeteria and promote peace, each classroom will make a banner to show a visual representation of their pledge to make the school a more peaceful place.

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"We wanted something that would add some sort of soundproofing to the cafeteria," she said. "We wanted it to be something the kids created as well."

The assembly was also used to introduce groups in the school that typically promote peace on a daily basis, such as safety patrol, peer mediation, performance team, and morning announcements.

Students who are part of Safety Patrol monitor the hallways and sidewalks in the morning to make sure kids are walking and to assist them if they need help finding their class. They also ride the buses and serve as role models to other students.

Peer Mediation gives students grades third through fifth in a way to work through a conflict by talking with fellow students who are part of the peer mediation group and walking through the steps of conflict resolution.

"It's so you can resolve your problems without having the teacher or the principal involved all the time, said Vince. "It's also trying to get students to take responsibility for their own behavior and choices."

The performance Team works sort of like a drama team. They perform skits in classrooms or school wide that promote character education and how to promote good choices. Morning Announcements are similar, Vince said. "They report the day's events, but they also give people ways to make positive actions in the school," she said.

Another group aimed at promoting peace is the new district-wide Olweus Bully Prevention Program.

"It gives us a systematic way to deal with bullying situations," added Vince. "Everyone in the district is trying to do it to decrease the amount of bullying incidences we have."

Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.
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