On Wednesday, November 2, the Walker Upper Elementary School Peace Squad will go on tour to all six Charlottesville elementary schools with their original play based on the award-winning picture book One by Kathryn Otoshi. With a simple but beautiful message about inclusion and standing up to bullying, the brief performance captures the power of the book as well as the students’ own passion for the message of kindness.
The Peace Squad is an after-school Walker program that trains students to respond in safe and appropriate ways to bullying behavior and to help other students involved in bullying situations. The program has spread to other schools across Virginia. With the motto of “it’s cool to be kind,” Walker’s Peace Squad has about 50 current fifth- and sixth-grade members or members-in-training. About 120 alumni attend Buford and Charlottesville High School. Walker counselor Charlotte Geddy heads up the group, which gives in-school performances and sponsors activities to help students build new friendships.
Geddy notes, “The Peace Squad has worked hard on this project, and I’m so eager for them to share it with younger students. The book One underscores one of the main ideas of the Peace Squad — that it just takes one person to make a difference in how we treat each other.”