Food For Thought

Our second annual student retreat was held four weeks ago, and I am still smiling from our success.  What a wonderful experience for us all! 

In August we brought together six of the original cohort of students for our advanced retreat, where we focused on leadership and self-directed learning around the “Food For Thought” theme of hunger and food insecurity.  Throughout the four days we considered this question:  “Can there be peace in the world if people are hungry?”  To put a real face on the issues participants helped harvest the Growing Peace garden (our free food garden dedicated to serving local community members in need), and took their produce to a local homeless shelter where they prepared a meal for guests.  They also researched local and international organizations that work to alleviate hunger, and made a commitment to a project of their choosing.  

Each student left the retreat ready to implement a service learning project during the coming school year.  For example, one student intends to raise money to support a meal packaging program through the organization Stop Hunger Now.  Another intends to work with younger children to raise awareness about peace-making.  Yet another is committed to disaster-relief volunteer opportunities.

 It is our vision that as the years advance this community of young activists will grow.  We invite participants back for follow up retreats, envisioning that they will eventually step into the roles of junior counselors and core staff.  Further, adult and student participants all stay connected through our online blog, Peace Place.  The blog is a safe space where these young activists can talk about their hopes and dreams for a more just and peaceful world, and share the things they are all doing to bring about positive change.  Peace Place is like a cozy room where they are hanging out with other like-minded student and adult activists, a place to share observations, thoughts, reactions, and activities related to “growing peace.” 




2 Responses to “Food For Thought”
  1. angelina says:

    It was so good to work with these kids again. They are insightful, funny, hardworking, and really have a thirst for creating change in their communities. I consider myself lucky to have had the opportunity to guide them and learn from them during our retreat, and to continue to follow up with them throughout the year. I just heard from one of the kids who sent me a draft of her letter to her principal. asking for permission to hold a bake sale to support the Stop Hunger Now project. So excited for her!

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