Reading for Peace Program
Reading for Peace was initiated by dedicated volunteers who wanted to introduce The Conflict Center’s approach to solving problems and building more peaceful communities to younger children (K-5 years old). They felt that the best way to do this was through stories that share different perspectives, and encourage acceptance of all people. They conduct small-group discussions about how the characters in the stories solve difficult problems. The response to the program was so enthusiastic that it has become our longest-running program, implemented in schools across the Denver metro area year after year. Children love not only the stories but the opportunity to have the undivided attention of an adult that really cares about them.
What is Reading for Peace?
Reading for Peace is a volunteer-managed and run program that is offered to elementary schools throughout the Denver metro area. Each Thursday afternoon during the school year, volunteers meet at a designated school to read with small groups of children. They visit anywhere from 4 to 8 different schools each year, reading with 500 to 700 students in 35 to 40 classes. Up to Three classes participate on a given day. Volunteers visit the selected classes for half an hour each. They divide the class into small groups equal to the number of volunteers, usually two or three children for each volunteer. Their time with the children is devoted to reading and discussing the books, specially selected to teach and reinforce the socio-emotional skills that are consistent with The Conflict Center’s programs. It’s not just the children who enjoy the groups—the volunteers also find the experience very meaningful.