Third graders of Ventura Charter School of Global Arts and Education (VCS) have been taking part in a project created by their teachers called, “Moment of Peace.” Days start with a read-aloud story or hands-on activity in the theme of teaching peace. Sometimes students greet their day outside and take part in teambuilding games. Other mornings take a moment for students to relate to characters in books dealing with challenges in the life of a child. These books raise meaningful and relatable discussions. Writing and acting out peaceful solutions is lifelong learning for these students. The culminating event of this project is a collaborative mural created by the VCS third graders. The mural reading “Spread Peace and Love” was created with the intent to be a roving art piece around our city.
Quotes from VCS third-grade artists explaining their mural process and purpose:
“We made the mural to spread kindness and to make people realize that you can change someone’s whole entire day by being kind. We are doing this to spread peace and love. We also made this for ourselves as a reminder that you have to love yourself so that you can be kind, confident, and spread kindness and love to others. We made a mural to help and remind others that they are never alone.
“Our teachers coordinated fifty students and parent helpers to create this work of art. It took lots of communication and care to share the painting work so it didn’t turn into a mess. It’s a six-foot square peace mural that reads, “Spread Peace and Love”. We want to spread peace because we want to teach kindness.
“At VCS we practice NVC (Nonviolent Communication) to learn about listening, being honest, kind, and peaceful. This is the message of our mural. We worked on it as a family. We want to bring the community together so that the community can feel more like a family too. Everyone has a kind heart inside. Everyone can be kind. We made some mistakes on our mural but we learned that mistakes are valuable and no one is perfect. This is a city-wide piece of hope for more love in the world. One smudge of paint can make an entire flower bloom.”