Friends School Baltimore fourth, fifth graders partner with Baltimore City Public School peers on World Peace Game

Over 11 weeks beginning on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015, 15 Friends School 4th and 5th graders and 15 of their counterparts from Robert W. Coleman Elementary in the city’s Mondawmin community will gather twice weekly at Friends for an after-school club dedicated to playing the World Peace Game. (Note: Mondawmin was among the communities affected by the unrest following Freddie Gray’s death.) Founded more than 30 years ago by veteran educator John Hunter, the game seeks to place “all the problems of the world,” including economic, social, and environmental crises and the imminent threat of war, on a 4′ x 5′ plywood board and “let the children solve them.”
Fourth grade teacher Jillien Lakatta and her Robert Coleman Elementary colleague Tayamisha Thomas facilitate the club. Both attended a World Peace Game master class this June in Charlottesville, Va. Describing the experience, Lakatta said. “We were with educators from all over the world whose schools have been playing the World Peace Game. A group of teachers from Mali shared how they’ve used the game to engage their students in solving some of the real-world problems that exist in their country. They say it’s given their students’ hope and has really made a difference in their lives. It is difficult to put the experience into words, but it was one of the best weeks of my life.”
Worth noting: Friends is the first Quaker school to play the World Peace Game. A TED talk given by Mr. Hunter has received more than 1.2 million views since its posting in 2011. Additionally, a documentary, “World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements,” offers a moving inside-look at the game and its young players.

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