Rocky Point High School students Rachel Dwyer and Sarah Whitworth organized a Peace Week at their school this winter, which sprung from a reflective essay that English teacher Jessica Rubin shared with her classes following the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
“There is so much violence that surrounds us today – from video games to reports on the news – that we often become desensitized by it all,” Whitworth said. “Through Peace Week, we wanted to give our school a chance to unplug from the chaos that exists in the world and think about how they can work to make the world a better and more peaceful place.”
During lunch periods, the entire student body was encouraged to anonymously write down on a post-it note one way they were going to be more peaceful and to wear a green ribbon in support of the school’s effort.
To further support the initiative, daily morning announcements were made about Peace Week and inspirational quotes of peace were shared aloud. The students inscribed approximately 250 messages of peace on a prominent display in the school’s main lobby.
“Whether writing down what they wanted to do or just taking the time to
think about the change they wanted to be, people in the school really made Peace Week their own,” Dwyer said. “We hope to coordinate a similar effort again this year and encourage others to lead by example.”