In this month following the start of the Israeli/Hamas conflict, focusing on children seems an important topic for A Moment for Peace.  It seems to be a good time to think about Conflict Resolution activities and programs for schools.
A goal of conflict resolution programs in schools is often managing the conflict that arises in everyday life.  Conflict Resolution concepts cover principles of dignity, trauma and resiliency, empathy, emotional regulation, conflict choices, perspective and identity.    One program in Missouri, the Center for Conflict Resolution, uses TALK as an acronym:
T-take a breath
A-ask for a person's perspective and share your own
L-list the options to move forward
K- keep it real; make a plan
This process helps students gain insights on how identity is shaped by a person's background and experiences. And it can help shape classroom culture.
If we want to establish classroom cultures that value community, conflicts between students should be approached with true reconciliation as the goal. Teachable moments can arise in classrooms by helping students understand their actions, the actions of others, and find solutions together.
How does this happen? One example is in simply teaching students to make thoughtful observations a part of their everyday language. Phrases such as, "I feel confused when you..." or "we work best together when…" help students make a connection in how their actions impact others, both positively and negatively. Of course, the ultimate goal is to teach students these skills before conflicts arise.  And resources are available to help schools and teachers.
*Information for this article comes from the Center for Conflict Resolution, Spring 2023 newsletter, Peace Notes.
Action Step:
  1.  Contact your local schools or teacher to inquire about peace and conflict practices, activities, curriculum or programs being used.  Evaluate whether there is a way for your Rotary club to assist.
  2. Contact the Center for Conflict Resolution, or to inquire about resources that may be available to your community.
  3. Contact Cassy Venters at for the URL of an organization or foundation that provides ideas to help build community within schools.
P.S.  What works with children often works with adults as well.