Each year, our group of over 125 Northeastern students has the opportunity to positively impact youth in Boston's schools. In the fall, our volunteers help K-8 students explore themes such as self awareness, advocacy, community, leadership, respect, conflict resolution, and empowerment through the use of interactive games and art projects. In the spring, our burgeoning peacemakers are encouraged to apply and expand upon the themes they learned through the creation and implementation of Peacemaker Projects. These small-scale community service projects are developed from the ground up by the young students involved in Peace through Play. Each class engages in dialogue surrounding the issues that are important to them, and then together design a project to tackle one of problems they see in their community.
In the past, the type and scope of projects our students can complete has been restricted due to limited funding. Nonetheless, Peacemaker Projects have been innovative in tackling problems and issues that the students find important to them. Whether it is building a community garden, creating recycling bins for the school, filming a song and dance about anti-bullying, creating a DVD to send to children in the Dominican Republic teaching English, or writing letters to the President asking for protection of endangered species, the students learn how they can be advocates and peacemakers in their community.
While the projects may be small-scale, their importance to the students is profound. Students are able to see how their hard work pays off and just how much of a difference they can make in their communities through a collaborative effort. Thus, the opportunity to further fund these projects would give our students the opportunity to think on a larger scale and expand upon their ambitions.
Our goal is to raise $750, which will provide an average of $30 to each group to purchase the supplies that the children will need to complete their projects. Supplies may include, but are in no way limited to, items such as art materials, trash and recycling resources, and gardening supplies.
With an additional $750 we will not only be able to increase the scope of our Peacemaker Projects this spring, but also begin to prepare for the fall 2014 semester. With your support we hope to apply the additional funds raised through Catalyst to the following projects next fall:
- Printing bound copies of our games book for volunteers to use as a classroom resource
- Creating and printing lesson plan workbooks for volunteers
- Purchasing school climate and general programming supplies
- Renewing the PeaceThoughPlay website domain name
- Expanding our website to include a blog that allows volunteers to share inspiring stories
- Purchasing supplies for our annual Volunteer Training Day. These include but are not limited to handbooks, game supplies, and name tags.
Founded in 2006, Peace through Play is a student organization based out of Northeastern University with the overall vision to see students empowering students to change the world by creating a culture of peace. Our volunteers work with approximately 200 children in grades pre K-8 in five recess and after-school programs in the Roxbury, Dorchester, and Cambridge communities.
Peace through Play focuses on engaging children in conversations about peace and social justice and encourages them explore their identities and the role that they play within their communities. We provide these young students with the tools necessary to peacefully resolve conflicts and initiate dialogues surrounding these topics. We use games and art activities as primary teaching methods because they create a safe space for dialogue to occur while providing children with a tangible representation of abstract concepts.