We need day volunteers for the Festival! Volunteer for only one day, and play with 5th-graders from all over Morningside Heights in their win-win games that promote cooperation and respect and reinforce all the conflict-resolution skills that they've learned.
The culmination of the Peace by PEACE Program is the Peace by PEACE Festival which is usually held in late April at the Riverbank State Park in Harlem. The aim of the Festival is to provide a fun and safe environment for the Program participants to share what they learned about conflict resolution and the application of the methods of peace to their daily lives.
At the Festival, students will present their win-win games to one another as a celebration and recognition of the hard work that they put into making their games. Approximately 150 games will be displayed. Past games have addressed concerns such as school safety, gang violence, and drugs.
The students will also have the opportunity to participate in physical activities requiring communication and cooperation in which everyone wins. These cooperative games challenge students to work together and interact physically in a non-threatening, non-violent manner. The cooperative activities expose the students to successful interdependence and positive physical interaction.
Finally, students have the opportunity to meet community leaders and other real-world problem solvers. The Festival will affirm the lessons of peace from the classroom, celebrate cultural diversity and reinforce a larger sense of community.
Peace by PEACE students look forward to the day of the festival starting early in the first semester, and their enthusiasm for the program is an inspiration for everyone who participates in this wonderful event. The festival not only provides the kids with a day of fun and excitement to commemorate their achievements with hundreds of their peers, but also shows each student that Peace by PEACE exists not only in their classroom or school, but also in many other schools in their city. This sense of the scope of the Peace by PEACE program sends a powerful message to the kids that their conflict-resolution skills can be applied outside of the classroom. Stephanie Nova of PS 132, student speaker at the festival in 2002, sums it up:
“People like Peace by PEACE only for the games. But the games are not everything in a conflict. Peace by PEACE is there for you. When you have problems and you need someone to speak to, you can trust Peace by PEACE because it shows you every step of your way in your good and bad times. I am so proud that my teacher and principal were able to provide to my class the teachers of Peace by PEACE and I am so glad that they took the time to come to my class. All of us lucky students, teachers, and volunteers should be proud of ourselves for making a difference… Peace by PEACE was created for all of us. We all just need to work together. Peace by PEACE should be everywhere. Peace by PEACE tells us we are not alone.”