Why Rotary District 5450 Peaceful Schools Program?
- Schools want and need the support of Rotary and other community organizations as they face ever increasing requirements, including addressing their school climate and culture
- Rotary is ideally positioned within local communities to build strong and mutually beneficial bonds with local schools and educators
- Teaching our children and youth Rotary’s guiding principles (4-way test) through Rotary District 5450’s Peaceful Schools Program is appropriate, relevant and effective in creating safe, respectful and compassionate school climates
- Rotary District 5450’s Peaceful Schools Program promotes the personal growth of our youth, especially those within our Interact Clubs, by teaching them leadership skills and the rewards of community service
- Peace and Conflict Prevention and Resolution is a key focus area and global effort for Rotary International
Video: Starting a Peaceful Schools Program in Your Rotary Club
The Program At-A-Glance
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.
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:
- Is it true?
- Is it fair to everyone?
- Will it help build friendships?
- 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).
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.
- Understanding and managing their emotions
- Feeling and expressing empathy for others
- Establishing and maintaining positive relationships
- Setting and achieving positive goals
- Making responsible decisions