Practicing Peace at Ivan Goran Kovacic School!

Peaceful Schools has received a delightful letter from our member school in Niska Banja, Serbia, Ivan Goran Kovacic School. It always gives us great pleasure seeing what each school is doing to create their own culture of peace and we’d like to share their hard work with you!

Over the past school year Ivan Goran Kovacic School has participated in activities that promote empathy, acceptance and friendship. Some of their successes have been fundraising money for students that come from low income families, building skills for peaceful conflict resolution through theatre and creating their own tree of friendship to celebrate their school’s love and kindness! These are only a handful of the many other activities the school has participated in over the past year, below are a few pictures highlighting their work.

m_Tree of frendship 1m_Happy thoughts collage 2

Malala Yousafzai – selected as a PSI Peer Mediator

PSI has a large number of member schools in Pakistan. Malala’s school, the Khushal Girls’ School is one of them.  Malala was selected to participate in a peer mediation training workshop under the leadership of PSI’s regional Coordinator in Pakistan, Nadeem Ghazi.  We hope that she will be back home soon to support the youth of Pakistan.

Malala with Nadeem Ghazi and her father

Member Schools Promote Peace!

Photo of Kells Elementary’s Peace Ambassadors’ poster used during their No Name Calling Week to encourage fellow students to not call each other names!

Kells Elementary

Photo of Apple of God’s Eye International Academy trying out January’s monthly idea “The Helping Hands Tree” in their school!


Apple of Gods Eye School2Apple of Gods Eye School 1

PSI and Saint Mary’s Sign an MOU

As of September 21st 2012 Peaceful Schools International has a new home! On International Peace Day PSI celebrated by formalizing the arrangement with Saint Mary’s University, in Halifax Nova Scotia, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding. Both parties are very excited about the new dimension of partnership and the beautiful new office that PSI now calls home!

Here is a link highlighting the event and grand opening:


Above: Saint Mary’s President Dr. Colin Dodds and Heather Harris, President of Peaceful School International

Beyond the Troubles, Belfast 2012

Beyond the Troubles

February 16th can’t come quickly enough for 14 Saint Mary’s students. On that day, they’ll be bound for Belfast to participate in the 7th annual Northern Ireland Conflict Resolution Project, an initiative designed to promote conflict resolution practices in schools in Canada and Northern Ireland.

International Development Studies student Emily Anderson is especially excited about this year’s peace education initiative and looks forward to working with elementary school children from Catholic and Protestant schools. Emily has been involved with the project for three years, first as a workshop facilitator and then as the Student Coordinator for the program. She credits the Northern Ireland Conflict Resolution Project with inspiring her graduate thesis on peace education in post-conflict societies.

Conceived and organized by Saint Mary’s University’s Conflict Resolution Advisor, Bridget E. Brownlow, the Northern Ireland Conflict Resolution Project is rooted in Saint Mary’s belief in the importance and relevance of engaged and experiential learning. In preparation for their 10 days in Belfast, students receive training in conflict resolution and have the opportunity to facilitate conflict resolution workshops with children and youth in local schools.

“I’m very encouraged by the commitment of our students to peace education, locally and internationally. I am also encouraged by the commitment and support of Saint Mary’s University as an active and dedicated member of Peaceful Schools International,” says Brownlow.

This year’s trip to Belfast will be similar in many ways to past years, but there are some unique differences. For one thing, there is an increase in the number of schools involved. As well, this year the Saint Mary’s contingent will be joined by a small group of IDS students from Dalhousie University under the leadership of Chris Walker, a Saint Mary’s IDS graduate and former project participant.

Another first is that this year’s trip will be documented by film maker Jeff Cusack. Inspired by the grim scenes he witnessed as a participant in the 2010 project in Northern Ireland, Cusack is returning to Belfast to capture this year’s trip in a documentary entitled “Belfast: Students in Conflict”.  The former editor of the SMU Journal, Cusack plans to filter the continuing struggles of Northern Ireland through the gut-level reactions of this year’s participants. According to Cusack, the lessons of Northern Ireland need to be understood now more than ever.

The Northern Ireland Conflict Resolution Project is made possible by a number of supporters including Saint Mary’s University, Peaceful Schools International, The Charitable Irish Society of Halifax, “An Cumann” (the Irish Association of Nova Scotia), The Estate of Patrick Power, Oxford School, Cornwallis Junior High, St. Mary’s Elementary and Inglis Street Elementary.

A Safe and Caring Amalgamated Academy

For the month of June Peaceful Schools International encouraged its member schools to share some of the activities that were done in their schools to help maintain a Culture of Peace all year long!  Here is an example:

A Safe and Caring Amalgamated Academy

School today is much more than reading, writing and arithmetic and the Safe and Caring School Committee of Amalgamated Academy is ensuring that this is the case.  Character development is such an important aspect of school life and events that help shape this are the ones that you will remember in the years to come.  Many events have been held at Amalgamated over this school year.  For example, we have had our Anti-bullying Stand Up Assembly, a Grade 9 Job Shadowing Day and a Newfoundland Cultural Day where we were joined by musicians Jim Payne and Fergus O’Byrne.  On-going is also our Roots of Empathy program in Ms. Ryan’s Grade 4 class.  Just recently the Safe and Caring student committee held a Good News Café at the Pentecostal Seniors Home in Clarke’s Beach, where the students put off a concert complete with singing, guitars, violin, accordion, piano, poetry and food (of course).  In the weeks to come we have RMCP officer John Clarke coming in to present to the Grade 8 and 9 students on Internet Safety and he will be back again the following month to present on Drug and Alcohol Awareness.  As well, in the near future we have two community members coming into the school to speak to our students about their upcoming Nicaragua visit.  This is just a small sample of the many events that are occurring at our busy school.  If you are interested in joining Amalgamated’s Safe and caring committee, feel free to contact the school at any time.

PSI Video Contest Winners Announced!

PSI Video Contest Winners Announced!

In the spring of 2012, PSI held a video contest inviting member schools to tell us in a video why their school is a peaceful school (see the poster below). Thank-you to each member school who participated in the video contest!  Each video was so creative which made the task of selecting a winner for each category very, very difficult.

Please click on the links below to see our contest winners and see what makes their schools a peaceful school!

Age 5-12 Category Winner: Riverview Elementary School from Verdun, Quebec

Riverview Elementary Video

Age 13-17 Category Winner: Mapaki Jr. Secondary School from Bombali District, Sierra Leone

Mapaki Jr. Secondary Video



Lake of Two Mountains Becomes PSI Member

At exactly 12:00 NOON On Thursday, January 20th, the staff and student population of Lake of Two Mountains High School were assembled right outside the front entrance of the school, at the base of the two flagpoles, already bearing the Canadian and Quebec flags. The reason was to commemorate the addition of a third.
This one was furnished by “Peaceful Schools International”, a non-profit organization, dedicated to the banishment of aggression and intimidation from the playgrounds, halls, and classrooms of schools everywhere.

Read more…

Lake of Two Mountains press release

Richland Academy: A Moment of Silence for a Worthy Cause

Submitted by Lisa Abreu, Richland Academy

Silence was heard throughout Richland Academy on Thursday, November 18th, as students, staff and faculty participated in their second Vow of Silence event, supporting children’s well-being worldwide. Each year, youth around the world “pledge to stay silent for up to 24 hours to support children who are silenced by the denial of their basic rights.” In honour of the Vow of Silence, each student created their own unique beaded bracelet, worn throughout the week in support of children around the world. During the hour of silence, students worked in complete silence with no speaking, no emailing, and no note-writing. Students expressed that the Vow of Silence was important because it gave them the chance to see what it was like for the children who do not have the right to speak up for themselves. The reality is, many children around the world do not have a voice to speak their ideas, thoughts and opinions. The Vow of Silence is a Free The Children initiative that is “meant to attract as much attention as possible to raise awareness and create real social change”. Richland is proud to support such a worthy cause that develops students’ awareness and understanding of the unfair conditions by which other children may live. As member of Peaceful Schools International, Richland will continue to build awareness about the lives of other children around the world.

View some images of Richland’s Vow of Silence Day:
Vow of Silence: A Moment of Silence for a Worthy Cause from Richland Academy on Vimeo.

Thank you to Melissa our ‘Marketing & Events’ Faculty Member and Felicia ‘Creative Design & Technology’ Faculty Member for creating these pieces for us.