by Larry Feygin
Chadwick completed its third annual Peace4Kids day during the last week of October. The day is one of the several charitable events coordinated by the Chadwick through the Community Service Advisory Board.
Peace4Kids is an organization that gives over one hundred inner city foster children from South Los Angeles fun and educational weekend activities to participate in. The Chadwick Peace4Kids day is just one of several events over the course of the year where the children get to forget about their problems and have fun in a safe environment.
The day is set up like a carnival, with different booths from several cities around the world. Throughout the day, the children, aged six to sixteen, go from booth to booth to experience the best each selected country has to offer in its culture, traditions, and entertainment.
The Community Service Advisory Board (CSAB) members in charge this year were seniors Nicole Stanton, Connor Dawson and faculty CSAB leader Becky Noble. They all had a challenge living up to past Peace4Kids days, which ran very smoothly.
The trio started planning this year’s event last October, shortly after last year’s event ended. Dawson said, “We knew there was a formula for making this successful, so we decided to start as soon as possible. We did it hoping the extra planning would pay off in the end.”
The whole process required many steps in planning. CSAB, the Chadwick Parents Association and the Booster club had to contact the Peace4Kids organization to set up the annual event. Stanton and Dawson also had to reserve the school for the day and had to coordinate parents, students assistants, buddies and planners for the site of each city, along with tour guides for each individual group of children.
The day attracted many people from the Chadwick community, with nearly twenty percent of the Upper School student body involved.
The Chadwick hosts set up exhibits the day before and the morning of. Traditionally, the events have been held outside, but unfortunately rain was forecast, so all the booths were moved to various indoor locations. Although this posed somewhat of an obstacle, Stanton said, “I think it ended up being better despite the rain. The fact that everyone could be close together inside made everyone work together better.”
The day started at ten in the morning when all the children arrived. The children toured the cities for three hours. The cities switch up every year, and this year’s included Seoul, Jerusalem, Port-au-Prince, Dublin, Punta Leon and Vancouver.
The organizers wanted to get cities whose cultures varied as much as possible so as to give the children a true global experience. At the end of the day, all the participants got in a circle and talked about what they liked from the day’s events.
The activities at each booth varied according to the character of each city. For example, at the Dublin booth the children decorated shamrocks and read Irish books, at Punta Leona kids played soccer and created volcanoes and in Jerusalem the children wrote prayers for peace which they put up on the Wailing Wall.
At each booth, the kids learned indigenous dances. Seoul even had their own Korean dancers and drummers, making the experience all the more authentic. Senior Arjun Reddy, who ran the soccer games, said, “I think all these activities worked great in letting the kids have a carefree day. There’s nothing like sports and movement to get one’s mind off of their troubles.”
The year of organizing and all the preparations led to an overall very successful Peace4Kids day. Other than the rain, there were no major stumbling blocks during the day’s events. Peace4Kids day provides Chadwick an opportunity to show its outreach into poorer communities.
“The entire school came together and showed the power of the Chadwick community. We really think serving the community should be a priority in people’s lives, and Peace4Kids day showed how easy it is to make a difference in someone’s life,” said Stanton. “Overall, we I think we did an awesome job of meshing the more prosperous Chadwick community and the inner city kids.”
“Next year’s organizers will have a lot to live up to,” said Noble. “The combination of the planning, the events, and the hospitality of the Chadwick community made this one of the best Peace4Kids days in recent memory.”