The Grand Slam!
By Clara Hassan, Clara Hartman, Clara Gerlitz,
Jillian Truesdale, Leah Wawrzynek, and Kylie Angulo
Over the weekend of March 18th and 19th, four 7th graders, and one 5th grader from our Peacejam group attended a PeaceJam conference at Regis University in Denver. This conference featured Jody WIlliams, Nobel Peace Prize winner of 1997, and was about shaping our democracy beyond the vote. She worked towards banning the use of landmines. The conference was split into two different age groups; the Junior Jammer Conference, which included elementary students (K-5), and a Jam for middle (6-8) through high schoolers.
There were many different activities we participated in over the weekend. One of the activities was doing service projects. A few of us participated in a service project where we melted old crayons down into new crayons to give to refugees who don’t have a way to express themselves. As well, one of us learned about genocide, and drafted letters to a board of education to try to include that more in education.
Another activity we did was workshops. We were all in the same workshop. In this workshop, we learned about building a just community, where resources are available to everyone. We then created models, and came up with conclusions based on other’s ideas. Next, we also learned a lot from Jody Williams. In the Junior Jam, we were “up close and personal” with Jody and presented some of our learning to her. In the older group, instead of lecturing us, Jody chose to let us speak up about our worries for America, especially with a new presidency underway. Then, on Sunday, she shared her story and what inspires her, and then everyone was invited to share what inspires them. We also presented the service work we have been doing at Horizons directly to Jody Williams (take a look at the photo!). It was inspiring to see the work happening at other schools. No matter how small the project, we are all making a difference. This was a really good way to wrap up the conference.