Peer counseling promotes peace with project

Tara Gaines

In 1981, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared Sept. 21 a day devoted to “commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples.” Thus, to promote ideals of peace within the MSD campus in honor this day, peer counselors  decorated the school’s grounds with chalk art. This included a combination of quotes and illustrations.

“It was easy, effective, and fun,” peer counselor Kyle Jones said.

This was not just an impromptu celebration however, but rather an endeavor that took a great amount of planning on the part of the peer counselors. After brainstorming ideas, students gathered Sunday, Sept. 18  in the school cafeteria where they were assigned the message they would brandish upon the school. Designs were all picked with the intention of promoting the theme of peace, and students were then given a grade for successfully accomplishing this endeavor.

“I love the idea of this project and think it may really make a difference in someone’s day,” peer counselor, sophomore Emily Bernstein said.

Some of quotes students employe included: “Be at peace, not in pieces,” “A simple hello could lead to a million things,” “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace,” upon others. Symbols such as peace signs, yin yangs, and dove birds- representative of peace and equality- intertwined with the writing. Perhaps the memorable of the quotes included President Lyndon Johnson’s “peace is a journey of a thousand miles, and it must be taken one step at a time.” This quote (which was written several times throughout the school), held extra gravity as it was delivered by Johnson to the United Nations General Assembly, the very organization that chartered the International Day of Peace in the first place. However, each quote was just as well received as the next, regardless of historical context.

“I wish the chalk could stay for the rest of the school year and would never have to come off. I have heard my friends talking about the project and saying that it made their days,” sophomore Isabella Atencio said.

Peer counseling teacher Lauren Rubenstein came up with the idea originally, but it was the members of the peer counseling class that made the execution of the project a reality. The project was well received; the peer counselors plan to continue this success with other school-wide projects in the next months to come.

“I am excited to present this project throughout school, I know the peer counselors are passionate about it,” peer counseling teacher Rubenstein said.

With a school motto of “be positive, be passionate, be proud to be an Eagle,” the peace project did just that. While the chalk may fade in the next few weeks, this upbeat, encouraging message of peace will continue to linger around the school for the months to come.