What Teachers and Youth Leaders Say About Us
PeaceJam is an invaluable tool for teaching citizenship and social responsibility and has even been seen to boost academic performance and reduce violence, according to teachers and youth leaders across the UK.
“We have the girls brimming with confidence starting to engage with the community. These are the same three girls who said they wouldn’t go in separate groups! They did and have never looked back,” remarked Diane Washington, a teacher from Rastrick High School in Calderdale.
“You won’t see the effects on some of those year 9 boys until the sixth form,” says Tori Blair, a teacher from Basingstoke.
“I had several girls who were involved in a year group/school-wide maelstrom of conflict. We had fisticuffs over who was going to go through a door first, constant rows — it was miserable. We had countless detentions, girls in isolation and constant exclusions,” remarked Janey Manton, a teacher from Coventry. “I was invited to bring students to the first PeaceJam UK conference and I thought – OK, we’ve tried everything else, let’s try this.
“So I took eight girls who were heavily involved in problems — five of whom were in danger of exclusion, to the first UK PeaceJam. Since then, out of the eight, one has been excluded for violence, however, of the others, five were the first in their family to make it through to final assembly in year 11. Of these, four went on to further education and one has a job with training.”
Janey continued: “Some staff think that going away to PeaceJam should be a reward for ‘nice’ kids and get cross with me for taking ‘villains’. It is not for the well-behaved kids — it is for the kids who need it.”
A Rochdale Youth Service worker said: “This year I brought 15 girls, all very keen and driven. They were adamant that they wanted to go to PeaceJam. They did some work on equality and preventing violent extremism, bringing different faiths together that they presented at PeaceJam. It was great for them to meet Betty — she had been doing the same thing and they could talk about what they had been doing.”