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May Peace Prevail on Earth

First-grade students in Michelle Ruby's class pose in front of the Poplin Peace Pole. Anne Marie Bretz and her students made cards as a random act of kindness.

Poplin first graders have been learning about the importance of nationals holidays and important events in Social Studies.  During the third week of September students celebrated Constitution Day on September 17.  On that day first graders discussed the importance of our freedoms and our rights that writers of the Constitution wrote about over two hundred years ago.  First Grade teachers taught students about Jeremy Gilley who started what is now called International Peace Day.  Students learned Gilley used his freedom of speech to make people aware and care about the importance of peace around the world.  Because of Gilley now September 21 is known as International Peace Day.  

Several years ago first graders made and installed a Peace Pole at the front of the school. Now each year on September 21, students visit the pole and learn about the importance of peace.  The Poplin Peace Pole has four different sides.  Each side has the words “May Peace Prevail on Earth” written in four different languages.  

Poplin is also a part of the International Peace Pole project.  When a Peace Pole is planted in a community then it links our school with other communities all over the world in the spirit of peace. Michelle Ruby, a First-Grade Teacher, says this is important because “this activity helps young children learn that peace starts with them.  You have to be nice and always show kindness to others.”  Another way Ruby and Anne Marie Bretz, also a First-Grade Teacher, have been teaching their students about peace and being nice is by participating in a Kindness Challenge. During the last week of September students have been choosing a daily challenge to act on.  One challenge was students made heart-shaped cards with messages about kindness.  The students left their cards on cars in the school parking lot as a random act of kindness.  

Click here to learn more about International Peace Day, Jeremy Gilley, and the Great Kindness Challenge.    


Written by: Beth Medlin - Media Coordinator and Michelle Ruby, First-Grade Teacher
Posted: Sep 23, 2015 by Beth Medlin

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