Rappahannock News - - FROM PAGE ONE - — Holly Jenk­ins

Last Thurs­day, an es­ti­mated 500 Rappahannock County Ele­men­tary School (RCES) stu­dents and staff, dressed in mostly white, gath­ered on the school’s soccer field and cre­ated a hu­man sculp­ture of a peace sign in honor of the In­ter­na­tional Day of Peace.

“Cer­tainly, all of us are aware of the vi­o­lence in the world that has forced mil­lions of peo­ple to flee their homes and their coun­tries in the last few years,” Kathy Zehr Rhodes, RCES school psy­chol­o­gist, said of the school­wide ef­fort to pro­mote peace. “Although the peace em­blem re­minds many of us of the 1960’s and 1970’s, our dream of peace for our world has not gone out of style.”

Rhodes, for ex­am­ple, said her “per­sonal dream for peace may seem mod­est but im­por­tant.”

“I want to sup­port our school staff,” she ex­plained, “as they part­ner with par­ents to grow fu­ture Rappahannock cit­i­zens who know their neigh­bors and help each other in times of ad­ver­sity; cit­i­zens who are en­gaged in their com­mu­ni­ties and choose cre­ativ­ity, flex­i­bil­ity, and col­lab­o­ra­tion rather than di­vi­sive­ness and name-call­ing.”

In­deed, it was the RCES Bul­ly­ing Prevention Com­mit­tee that or­ga­nized the event.

“I want our stu­dents to care pas­sion­ately about their world and ex­press their opin­ions while re­spect­ing those with dif­fer­ing views,” said Rhodes. “These dreams for peace may sound lofty after all, but we can all play a role in guid­ing our youngest cit­i­zens in learn­ing to build pos­i­tive re­la­tion­ships, lend a help­ing hand, and re­spect class­mates who look a lit­tle dif­fer­ent than them­selves. Peace be­gins in our homes . . . and in our schools.”

Lain Carney, of Pen Druid Brew­ery in Sper­ryville, cap­tured the amaz­ing aerial pho­to­graphs.


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