Parents and Students

Parents and Students


The Rotary District 5450 Peaceful Schools Program, sponsored and supported by Rotary Clubs, is offered in elementary school classrooms and delivered by high school students trained and supervised by Rotarians.
This model is a true win-win: The elementary students learn to engage with each other in a spirit of caring, compassion and cooperation, as they learn these positive skills and behaviors from respected and admired high school students. At the same time, the high schools students reinforce their own social-emotional skills, experience the positive impact they have on younger children, and learn valuable leadership skills was well as the rewards of community service.

Why Rotary District 5450 Peaceful Schools Program?

Elementary School Parents/Students:

  • Teaches your child important social-emotional behaviors and skills to help them address life’s challenges and enhance their learning
  • Introduces your child to positive role models from Rotary and local high schools
  • Focuses on positive behaviors and prevention rather than negative situations and responses
  • School-family-community partnerships support our children’s learning, confidence and success

High School Parents/Students:

  • Teaches leadership and responsibility through student-led classroom sessions
  • Reinforces the high school students’ social-emotional skills
  • Provides an opportunity for personal growth through mentoring activities
  • Satisfies community service requirements

The Program At-A-Glance

The program is targeted at elementary school children in grades Kindergarten through 3.
The program is delivered in the elementary school classrooms, in four separate 45- minute sessions, typically scheduled 2-4 weeks apart. A team of 4-6 high school student volunteers trained to deliver the program are assigned to each classroom. One or more trained Rotarians coordinate and oversee the program.

The teacher remains in the classroom to monitor the program, deal with any behavioral issues, and absorb the lesson concepts in order to support the students’ ongoing understanding and adoption of the principles.

The 45-minute classroom sessions include presentation of the Four Awesome Questions Poster (a simplified version of Rotary’s four guiding principles), an Emotions Poster to help students identify their own and others emotions, reading and discussion of pre-selected books to illuminate the lesson objectives, and songs and activities to reinforce the specific concepts and lessons being presented.

The program uses developmentally appropriate social-emotional learning curriculum to help children and youth express their feelings constructively, build community, resolve conflict peacefully, and celebrate diversity.

These concepts are taught by high school or college students who are trained to use a well established set of tools including:

The FAQs (Four Awesome Questions) Poster: The FAQs Poster features Rotary’s four guiding questions simplified to help the students think and reason before acting or reacting. The Four Awesome Questions are:

  1. Is it true?
  2. Is it fair to everyone?
  3. Will it help build friendships?
  4. Will it be good for everyone?

The Emotions Poster: The Emotions Poster  contains faces and words to identify emotions to help students identify their own and others emotions.

Pre-selected books which are read and discussed with small groups of students using the FAQs to re frame the issues presented in the books.

Activities to demonstrate and reinforce the lessons learned.

Music and songs inspired by Peter Yarrow (of the famed folk group Peter, Paul and Mary).

When considering a person’s long-term success, researchers, educators, psychologists, and others understand that Emotional Quotient (EQ) is equal to, if not more important than the traditionally measured Intelligence Quotient (IQ). Too often, though, we forget that those skills must be taught just as we teach other academic content.

We now know that schools and districts that commit to establishing respectful, safe, and compassionate learning environments, in part by teaching these skills, experience improvements in academic achievement, student attendance, and staff retention. They also simultaneously reduce bullying, violence, and other behavioral issues.

Furthermore, we know that those who demonstrate strong social-emotional skills and attitudes are more likely to graduate from college, earn more over their lifetime, and have better health and relationship outcomes than those who do not.

The Peaceful Schools Program helps children and youth learn the skills necessary for:

  • Understanding and managing their emotions
  • Feeling and expressing empathy for others
  • Establishing and maintaining positive relationships
  • Setting and achieving positive goals
  • Making responsible decisions

Video: Starting a Peaceful Schools Program in Your High School

Are You Interested in the Rotary District 5450 Peaceful Schools Program?

Contact us today to get things moving.

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