Harrison Elementary School students in Brainerd may now think twice before hitting a classmate or calling someone a bad name.
Last week was Peace Week -- a weeklong celebration of peace and understanding throughout the Brainerd lakes area, sponsored by St. Joseph's Foundation, Crow Wing County Child Protection Team, Cuyuna Regional Medical Center, Community Asset Builders and The Brainerd Dispatch.
Cordelia Anderson came to Brainerd on Friday to speak with students at Harrison on how they can be peacemakers. Anderson owns Sensibilities Inc., a consulting firm in Minneapolis, and has been involved in violent prevention organizations for 25 years.
Anderson enjoys talking with students and likes what the community is doing to make the peace campaign come alive. "You're the one who can make the peace" is this year's theme. The campaign reminds people that they are responsible, not just in reducing violence, but in promoting peace through everyday words and actions.
"It's the little things that can make a difference," Anderson said when speaking to students on how they can be a peacemaker.
She asked students to look at their own actions, and encouraged them to think about the action and consider whether there would have been a way for them to be the peacemaker.
Anderson said being a peacemaker means being able to communicate what you want, need, think and feel and to understand how others feel. It also is being aware of how your behavior affects others.
First-grader Cooper Blau said he can help make the peace by not bothering his brother. Second-grader Jackie Hallgren said she can help become a peacemaker by treating others like she would like to be treated.
Other students said they can make peace by being nice to people.
"I can play with others and say nice things to them," said Kyle Aspholm, a first-grader. "I cannot say (to people) they are ugly."
Paige Sparkman, another first-grader, said she can just have fun and not fight with anyone.
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