For one hour today, CPS students took a break from academics to discuss the need for peace. Peace in their lives, peace in their communities, and peace during the summer months, which can be a tumultuous time in Chicago neighborhoods.

This was Peace Hour – an opportunity for CPS students to express what peace means to them and brainstorm ways to stay safe and productive this summer.

"What is peace to me?" 3rd graders write as part of their peace circle.

“What is peace to me?” 3rd graders write as part of their talking circle.

Inspired by a “Peace Pledge” created several years ago by Farragut High School students, Peace Hour was gave students from Kindergarten through 12th-grade a chance to share their feelings on how young people can help create a more peaceful world. With support from various CPS departments, including Service Learning, Early Childhood Education, and Social and Emotional Learning, teachers guided students through these conversations, then invited them to affirm their commitment by signing the pledge.

Throughout the hour, students sat in talking circles, discussing ways to bring peace to their schools and their city, including how they can be individuals who change their city for the better.

The goal of Peace Hour was to start a dialogue about important yet difficult issues that CPS students face, and how they can stay safe and productive in the coming months. Our hope is that it will help bring every child back to school healthy and happy this fall.

Virtual Peace Hour:

Each Peace Hour began with a short video, introducing the concept, goal, and students from Farragut High School talking about the challenges they’ll face this summer.  Watch the video below to start your own conversation about peace.