Keisha Hill, Gleaner Writer
The word peace was etched in the minds of more than 675 students at the Grange Hill Primary School in Westmoreland, after Sandals Resorts in Negril hosted a very interactive workshop at the institution on Peace Day.
Employees from Sandals and Beaches Negril led hour-long classroom presentations on various topics ranging from the role of students contributing to a peaceful school and society, conflict and conflict resolution, handling bullies, youth violence, dealing with anger and loving and appreciating each other.
Students were also encouraged to participate in the discussions, with some immersing themselves in skits that saw them playing teachers to their colleagues and imparting their knowledge and interpretation of the various issues explored.
Students were charged to work in groups and create their own 'peace corners' as a symbol of their promise to promote and maintain a peaceful school environment. Grade five student Tashwayne Lewis was impacted by the peace corner and how well he and his team worked together to complete their prized work of art.
"I really liked how we worked quietly together to complete our chart for our peace corner. We all played a role in designing it and writing what we thought peace meant to us," Lewis said.
Each student also affixed their signature in their peace corner as a promise to respect each other, refrain from fighting and handle disagreements amicably in their classroom, throughout the school and in their homes.
Principal Fay Douglas expressed appreciation to the resort group for the time spent promoting Peace Day in the school. "Having someone from the corporate community come in to speak with our students about conflict resolution and other very important areas is something huge for us, Douglas said.
"Students hear talks from our guidance counsellors about maintaining a conflict-free school environment but Sandals team members brought the message in an interesting way. Students were very much involved and were challenged to own the task of ensuring that they are always loving and non-violent towards each other," she added.
Students, along with staff members, also planted a tree for peace on the school compound and vowed to always respect and care for it as their very own permanent symbol of peace.