About Peace Pizzazz

Peace Pizzazz is a growing group of people that work to bring peace to our children by teaching and demonstrating the Golden Rule.

Mission

To give the children of the Kalamazoo Area the tools to create peace in their schools, homes, and playgrounds by teaching them to employ the Golden Rule as a way of peaceful conflict resolution.

Vision

To provide peace education to all children in the Kalamazoo Area, so that they have the tools for peaceful living.

Purpose

Peace Pizzazz is a peace education program for K-5 students using the Golden Rule as the model for creating peace in their lives. Throughout the year lessons are provided through books, art projects, music, verbal/written poetry, dance, and other expressions of peaceful behavior.

Peace Pizzazz assists by providing books and curriculum to bring peace to the children. We suggest resources and encourage discussion on peace-related topics of inclusion and other nonviolent, constructive attitudes towards self and others. Positive behaviors are taught in participating schools, faith groups, after-school programs, and in homes with the goal of building a Culture of Peace in local and global environments.

The program culminates with an annual festival for students to celebrate their expressions of peace through their art and music, a parade, and by demonstrating living of the Golden Rule in a large group setting.

History

Peace Pizzazz was envisioned in 2008, as a way of building public awareness and support for legislation to establish a U.S. Department of Peace through the writings and art of children. It soon developed into building a culture of peace locally through a K-5 children’s festival based on empathy and compassion.

Originally sponsored jointly by the 6th Congressional District Campaign for a U.S. Department of Peace (DoP) and Skyridge Church of the Brethren Peace Pizzazz branched off to become more focused on providing peace books and curriculum to youth teachers and directors. Peace Pizzazz found its way into the KPS elementary schools and many other youth programs. Unity of Kalamazoo became a key sponsor through their fiduciary partnership.

Through grants and private donations, Peace Pizzazz provides free books to youth leaders, educators, and directors that join them in teaching a curriculum based on the Golden Rule. Art plays a large role in the teaching as children are asked to express what peace means to them through music, dance, arts and crafts, and poetry.

Kalamazoo Community Foundation has been a key contributor from the start. Other funding has come from the Kalamazoo Rotary Club, The Irving S. Gilmore Foundation, Harold and Grace Upjohn Foundation, ads by Kalamazoo Public Schools and Book Bug, and private donors. Money has been raised by children and given to Loaves and Fishes as a practical expression of compassion each year.