FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
For more information, contact:
CPS Office of Communications
CHICAGO – Chicago Public Schools (CPS) classrooms will participate tomorrow in a Peace Hour to provide students an opportunity to discuss the importance of peace and brainstorm ways to stay safe and productive this summer. As part of Peace Hour, students will be invited to sign aPeace Pledge, developed by Farragut High School students, that encourages students to commit to bringing peace to their school and city.
“As we look ahead to the summer months, our first ever citywide Peace Hour will provide students in classrooms across the city a chance to have a meaningful discussion and plan for how they will stay safe and productive this summer, so that they can be successful when they return to the classrooms this fall,” said Mayor Emanuel. “The City is committed to ensuring a safe and productive summer for every single child in every single neighborhood. To help achieve that goal, we are creating thousands of opportunities for our children to stay safe and engaged through summer learning opportunities that will keep their minds fresh so that they can retain all that they have learned and worked so hard for this year.”
The District developed Peace Hour to provide K-12 students with an opportunity to speak openly about the important and difficult issues students face. CPS schools will use Social and Emotional Learning tools, including talking circles, to promote open, constructive dialogue that will allow students to express their thoughts and feelings and work through issues.
“Through the District’s first-ever Peace Hour, students will be encouraged to engage in healthy, open discussions about the need for peace and the ways they can work to cultivate peace in their schools and communities,” said CPS Chief Education Officer Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “We know the summer months can present challenges for our students, and we want all of our students to know we are there to support them and encourage thoughtful decision-making."
Activities will begin tomorrow with a video introducing Peace Hour to every CPS classroom. The video provides an overview of Peace Hourtalking circles and features students from the Farragut High School Student Voices Committee who address the need for peace and the importance of contributing to productive community solutions.
To support Peace Hour, CPS staff from various departments, including the Offices of Social and Emotional Learning, Service Learning and Early Childhood Education, developed an activity guide that teachers can utilize to guide their classrooms through constructive conversations that allow students to share what peace means for them. Classroom guidance varies by grade level to help ensure conversations benefit the unique needs of students at all grade levels.
Following the Peace Hour, students will be given an opportunity to sign a Peace Pledge, which was developed by students at Farragut High School in recent years to promote a commitment to peace. The Peace Pledge states:
I pledge allegiance to bring peace to my school and to my city.
I pledge to support and motivate others to create and keep peace.
I pledge to try to be an individual who changes my city for the better.
I want to be the constant and not the variable; to be the one who leads and sets an example.
Chicago Public Schools serves 392,000 students in 660 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.