Inspired by ICAP’s mission to build a culture of peace as well as develop future peacemakers through the arts, students at Guam’s LBJ Elementary School and Tamuning Elementary School displayed their artistic capability in a variety ways under the umbrella of establishing peace consciousness.
On Jan. 20, LBJ and Tamuning students, teachers and staff welcomed ICAP representatives. As the visitors walked the school halls, they felt themselves steeped in the environment of peace—a product of the ongoing, shared learning among the students, faculty and entire staff. Each class, the visitors were informed, has been discussing what peace is, its importance, and how as individuals they could all practice and encourage the realization of peace.
The two schools’ Pre-K, Kindergarten and second-graders have been discussing possibilities for their own contribution toward peace, which resulted in displays declaring: “We Have a Hand for Peace.”
First- and third-graders displayed how that had been integrating their studies of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through exhibits that share: “My Wish for Peace”
Fourth-graders were challenged to envision what peace would look like, and then they created displays based on the prompt: “When I Close My Eyes and Think of Peace, What Do I See?”
The fifth-graders were asked to reflect deeply on how they, as individuals, can build a peaceful world. And in response, they identified and created a presentation on “26 Ways To Make Peace,” which they were encouraged to share with others.
In addition to the projects undertaken by the various classes, there was also a school-wide exhibit—the Puzzle Pieces—components of which were shaped like jigsaw-puzzle pieces and signed by students. When fully assembled, a communal pledge was created along with a display of inspirational images conjuring a world overtaken by peace.
The guests were invited to the Tamuning school auditorium where a peace symposium was held with more than 1,000 students participating. Instructional Coach Tricia Cruz kicked things off by saying, “One of the pieces of their fifth-grade symposium was to create their own version of TED Talks. TED Talks [is the brand name given to] short powerful talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design [that are held in various global locations]. We are collectively engaging in ways to design a world whose global culture is peace. That is definitely an ‘idea worth spreading’.”
Ms Cruz explained: “Each speaker this afternoon will be sharing their presentation on ‘A Piece of Peace.’ Fourth-graders, please pay close attention and listen as each speaker sends a message to you on peace. Next year, when you’re in fifth-grade, you will be expected to engage in deep conversations about this important movement.”
Six students then delivered individual talks on the following topics: peace in the community, peace in school areas, peace among different cultures and grade levels, peace within our families, peace on our island, and peace in our world.” (See below the drafts of a few of the day’s “TED Talks.”)
Ms. Cruz continued: “I would like to briefly recognize an organization called ICAP, or the International Committee of Artists for Peace. This group of individuals comes together to promote peace through the arts. At this time, we—LBJ and Tamuning elementary schools—are going to do just that! We will have our fifth-graders perform, using music as a vehicle to promote peace.
“Fourth-graders, while looking at your displays on what peace would look like, some common themes were: family, freedom, friends, getting along, respect, love, calmness, hope, working together . . . although those are all possible, [achieving them] can be difficult at times. With this song, we hope that you feel the movement and inspiration for coming together for a common cause. As we piece together the pieces of peace, we need to keep in mind truth, hope, love, our beating hearts, and being able to come together in order to build peace.”
The fifth-graders then performed a very moving version of the song “Stand By You.”
Ms. Cruz continued: “Our world—our society—places many challenges on us. Sometimes it gets hard to do the right thing. Listen carefully to this next song. ‘Don’t be discouraged.’ Sometimes, practicing courage is difficult. Living in a world full of people, sometimes we can lose sight of it all. Students, think about what makes you a good person. Think about your courage—your ‘true color’—and let that true color shine through.”
Appropriately, the fifth-graders then sang an inspirational rendition of “True Colors.” This was followed by their final song, “Heal the World,” which Ms. Cruz introduced by saying: “Our fifth-graders’ door displays share different ways to promote peace. Starting with ourselves, we can indeed ‘make a little space’ in our hearts to make our world a better place.”
Next, the Tamuning Elementary School Honor Choir—winners of a 2015 and 2016 Song Festival—sang the poignant song “This Is My Wish.”
Ms. Cruz then went on to say: “Through all the different peace topics, one thing that is discussed is the fact that peace can grow and thrive if we just keep in mind that ‘peace begins with me.’ We are all members of the same race, the human race. Collectively, we can build a world of peace by beginning with ourselves.”
The Honor Choir then performed the song “Let There Be Peace On Earth.”
Ms. Cruz wrapped her remarks by saying: “Students, continue to practice and promote pieces of peace so that we can all live in a better world. Fifth-graders, we challenge you to continue to promote these messages as you get older and move on to middle school. Remember what you are collectively leaning here about peace.”
In closing, she shared a quote from philosopher Daisaku Ikeda: “Each young person has unlimited potential and power. When encouraged, each is capable of remarkable things. It is vital that we maintain an unwavering conviction that one person can, and always does, make a difference. Each person has a unique and important mission in this life.”
ICAP expresses its appreciation to Speaker Judi Won Pat and acknowledges her for her vision to instill within each individual student the idea to start thinking about and initiating dialogue on peace. Our gratitude also goes to Carolyn Ann Diaz Camacho (principal of LBJ and Tamuning Elementary Schools), Josephine Parel-Fontbuena (assistant principal), Mary Bias (counselor at Tamuning Elemantary), Tricia Cruz (instructional coach), Lynette Quitugua (LBJ counselor), Valerie Cruz (Chamaro teacher), Patrick Tanaka (5th grade teacher) and Kathy Alegria and Beverly Alerta Brady (ICAP Guam representatives).
TED TALK by Hayley Aguon
Do People know the meaning or definition of “peace?” If you google the word “peace,” it would give you “freedom from disturbance” or “non-violence.” What about a synonym for “peace?” Google would most likely give you the word “truce.” I think peace far more than just a truce! A truce in my mind is an agreement to stop fighting. If we were to achieve peace, we must make a difference everyday. Not just today.
For example, in the classroom, be kind, be happy, be obedient to your teacher. We have to do these things to spread the peace from school to home. Everybody will be happy going home and it would spread even further.
Another example is in the cafeteria. Now in the cafeteria, be peaceful and respectful by not eating while talking. Keep everything in order when you’re in there. The cafeteria is for eating, not talking. You will have a chance to talk in the playground, which leads us to our last example, the playground.
I decided to explain peace in the playground last because most instances I hear are from the playground. This is where we have to stop violence, bullying, teasing, and fighting. This doesn’t lead to peace. All those things that I mentioned start with something as little as giving a bad look or even just ignoring someone. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. encouraged people to protest in a nonviolent way. Instead of fighting back in a harmful way, he encouraged people to maintain peace by remaining silent even if they were being mistreated. Has anyone ever heard of the quote, “Peace starts with a smile?” I agree with that quote! A simple smile will create peace among each other. That is why, today, I have my peace speech with a smile on my face! Thank you!
TED TALK by Kaela Avelino, Brianna Rivera and Mikaela Tibayan, Presented by Kaela Avelino
Welcome to the A209 TED Talk. Our topic is about “Peace on the island of Guam.” I will be talking about how peace is demonstrated on the island of Guam, the changes that need to happen to ensure peace is happening, and recommendations of peace for the future.
Since we’re on the topic of peace, I will pay tribute and include one of the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. His name is Martin Luther King, Jr. He stood up for peace and stopped segregation by leading non-violent campaigns through protests and marches.
A way peace is demonstrated on Guam is people on Guam are very nice, humble and are known by caring about other. We have charities like Salvation Army, where people donate clothes, food, furniture, and etc. that helps the homeless. We also have island clean-ups where just recently I saw people doing a clean-up in Harmon. People also do clean-up along the beach.
People on Guam are peaceful because we do community service and outreach, career day, food drives, and clothes donations. Now let’s talk about the ways we can ensure peace is happening. Ways we can ensure peace is happening is, by stopping a fight, helping conserve endangered animals, don’t touch what doesn’t belong to you, and etc. to spread peace around the island and the world.
Just like how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr led a non-violent campaign throughout the country by organizing a boycott in Montgomery, Alabama. He had speeches about stopping racism, and he was put in jail numerous times but despite that, he kept going to spread peace and love around the country. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. never gave up and we shouldn’t either!
A209’s recommendations for the future is to be kind to everybody! We should follow the golden rule, which is to treat others the way you want to be treated. Be a good person and put a smile on everyone’s face wherever we go. Be honest because if you lie, it will all point back at you. Be that one person who can dream and make it possible. Dr. Martin Luther king, Jr. had a dream that little black boys and black girls will join hands with little white boys and white girls as brothers and sisters.
I, myself, have a dream. “I have a dream that one day people will stop fighting and start getting along. That people will stop hating and start loving. I have a dream that people will start making good decisions and stop making bad decisions. That people will start being more appreciative of what they have. Lastly, I have a dream that people will stop wasting power, water, and all the resources that mother earth has given us.” Thank you!