Kennedy Heights Montessori Center
I don’t know who gets more out of my visits to the Kennedy Heights Montessori Center, me or the kids. Usually I read to the 3 to 6 year olds, but last week we did something different. They each made a personal, hand made Valentine’s Day car that I brought to residents of a local nursing home. The children had so much fun making their gifts and how special those gifts were to the older adults who received them.
Mahatma Gandhi once said…If we are to have real peace in this world, then we shall have to begin with the children.
And, at the Kennedy Heights Montessori Center a small silk flower is teaching young impressionable minds how to take responsibility for actions and solve conflict in positive ways.
The Peace Rose Ceremony
This is how the lesson goes. Whenever two children are having some sort of conflict, one will go to get the Rose (there is one in each classroom) and present it to the other. Each child says what happened, how he/she felt about what happened, and what he/she thinks should be done. Only the child holding the rose can speak. They declare ‘peace’ when they both feel the issue is resolved, and one brings the rose back to the vase…to continue on with their day.
Gosh, there are SO many reasons to love this approach that was originally developed by Karla Crescenta, a teacher at the Giving Tree who has extensive experience in mediation. What better, more empowering way to teach children than to give them the responsibility for coming up with their own solutions? This encourages them to talk freely and honestly about their emotions; and to speak with understanding and empathy rather than violence. Additionally, those kids who got great reinforcement from tattling to a teacher about a problem now see greater reinforcement from working things out on their own.
A+ to the staff of Kennedy Heights Montessori Center, and every other school, who teaches children about acceptance, peace and love.
Please watch this video
All of us have within ourselves the power to make a positive contribution. Cultivating that good through a sincere respect, caring and appreciation is one of the most important gifts we can give.
In our hectic lives filled with deadlines and so many responsibilities, we sometimes need a little reminder. It is the here and now that counts, and every one and every moment that gives our life meaning.
That was the purpose behind my creating the Good Things Pledge several years ago and hundreds of people have signed up – either through my blog or in person – to be Good Things Pledge Champions.
I recently stopped by the Kennedy Heights Montessori Center where the entire school became Good Things Pledge Champions. Before handing out their certificates, I read a book and led a discussion with them about kindness, appreciation and friendship. Then one of the students read the Pledge aloud. Please see the video below to watch. I was so proud of them all!
What is the Good Things Pledge?
The Good Things Pledge is simply a promise – a personal vow that involves liking yourself and others, appreciating the little things that make life special, being kind, and being aware that every small act has the potential for a huge impact. Those behaviors are collectively called Good Things and many people already are already doing them.
By becoming a Good Things Pledge Champion, you are making a promise to remind yourself every day of what is positive…And you are helping to keep Good Things Going Around.
Every Champion receives a personalized Pledge certificate.