Saturday, September 21st, is the International Day of Peace and this year’s theme is, “Education for Peace”. It proclaims education is an important path toward a more peaceful world and states there is a crucial need for educational programs related to peace. It is therefore especially meaningful that this week Quilt of Belonging proudly delivered its newly-completed education kits to the Upper Canada District School Board’s Resource Centres. These resources are designed to teach the board’s 36,000 students the importance of belonging, inclusion, acceptance, and diversity – the critical elements of peace.
The new resources will provide teachers in the board’s 103 schools with books, lesson plans, classroom activities, games and research projects. Of special interest in the kits are the “touchable blocks” that feature authentic fabrics and techniques from cultures around the world– from beading on smoked caribou hide, to African mud cloth, from the handmade felt for yurts in the Steppes of Central Asia to the shishadar of India and Pakistan. All the activities have been developed in compliance with the Ontario School Curriculum, for every grade level from Kindergarten through Grade 12 and in subjects ranging from social studies to literacy, arts to Canadian and world studies.
These education resources were developed at the request of principals and teachers following the highly successful Youth Quilt Pilot Project exhibited at NAV Centre this past April. Also, as Quilt of Belonging is included in textbooks across Canada, requests for teaching tools have been received from a wide range of locations. Now, the new education materials, which can easily be adapted for educators anywhere in the world, will further the teaching and sharing of Quilt of Belonging’s message of belonging, with the hope of peace for all.