Seventh Grade Spotlight on Peace and Student Voice

By English Department Co-Chair Kate Tabor

Walk through the halls and you will notice messages of peace and understanding hanging at eye level. These are not from one person or one perspective; these are the messages and the missions of the people and organizations who have won the Nobel Peace Prize. They are the groups and individuals who have “done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”

For the last six years, the 7th grade has piqued the interest of the community in advance of Peace and Publishing Day, the day they illuminate the lives and achievements of the men and women who have worked toward world peace, as well as have a chance in the spotlight to share their own writing.

History and Social Studies Co-Chair Anthony Shaker has helped students understand the history of the prize and its evolution since 1901. Each student chose a laureate to research and prepared a “product,” a way for the rest of the grade to see the accomplishments of this broad array of Nobel winners. The 7th graders presented their final products on Thursday afternoon at the Nobel Peace Prize Museum.

When they weren’t docents in the museum, the 7th grade provided both audience and performers with readings of their poetry and selections from the recently published anthology of short stories, Clark Street Stories. We have published 12 volumes of 7th grade writing, and this year’s volume holds the record for number of pages and variety of protagonists. These stories went through multiple drafts and revisions and are all linked through characters and location.

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