Wendy Anderson Halperin and Drawn To Discover are proud to be part of Wescott Elementary’s theme this year, “Partners in Peace.” Librarian Margaret Janavicius and assistant Joan Marsh arranged for Ms. Wendy’s visit to share her wisdom and art from DrawnToDiscover.com‘s supplemental course, Drawn To Peace. The Peace curriculum is built through a study of quotes from famous peacemakers. Inspired by Ms. Wendy’s book, Peace, which incorporates the Tao Te Ching, asks us to wonder, “How can we bring peace to the world?”
Ms. Wendy developed this course after being inspired by author Corman McCarthy’s comment, “If peace is what every government says it seeks, and peace is the yearning of every heart, why aren’t we studying it and teaching it in schools? I would rather teach peace than war!”
“Peace” expounds on the path to world peace and serves as a springboard to discussions about bullying, conflict resolution, and right actions. This is the inspiration that drove the partnership of Drawn To Discover and Wescott School. Lead by Ms. Janavicius and supported with the leadership of Principal Chris Brown, Ms. Wendy and Drawn To Discover were fortunate guests in a full day study and instruction of peace with every student in the school.
Ms. Halperin drew from Mother Theresa’s quote in her book, “Peace begins with a smile,” and encouraged the children to start each day with a smile. Some pages from her book display the following messages, which include intricate and beautiful artwork: “For there to be peace in homes, there must be peace in our hearts”; “There will be peace in our cities when there is peace in our nations”; “Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others”, and “It is the law of love that rules mankind.”
During grade level assemblies for first through fifth graders, the author conducted lessons from her new drawntodiscover.com program, which focuses on listening skills and the development of fine motor connections to the brain. The children were given a “peace journal”, which contained blank pages with a peaceful quote on the bottom of the page. Every student had the opportunity to follow along with Ms. Wendy’s techniques learning the proper pencil grip and focusing their mind on the task. At the end of each period, every child walked away with their creation – a picture similar to Ms. Wendy’s illustration.
“Research has shown that reading skills and writing efforts are enhanced for students involved with Drawn To Discover. “I enjoy creating the magic that connects children to their own possibilities,” stated Ms. Wendy.
The author also held a workshop for Wescott teachers on January 24, and she hosted a workshop with Wescott parents and children in the evening.