Saint Mary’s hosts Halifax elementary students for peace conference

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WATCH ABOVE: Members of the conflict resolution society hosted peace education workshops for over 300 elementary school students. Global's Alexa MacLean was on campus learning about the impact pro-social behaviour can have on future generations – Jan 22, 2016

More than 200 elementary school students from Halifax were at Saint Mary’s University on Friday to learn how to give peace a chance.

At a conference led by university students, the children learned how to resolve conflicts peacefully and got to participate in workshops that explored positive communication techniques.

Every year the students organize a series of workshops they present to elementary schools before wrapping up the sessions with a full-day conference.

“Our theme this year is called the power of words, so all of the activities are focused on the impact words can have on others,” said Emily Anderson, a Peaceful Schools International co-ordinator.

Peaceful Schools International is a charitable organization that counts the university as a member. It was created in Canada to help grow a culture of peace in education communities.

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Ten-year-old Max Murray was one of the students circulating through scenarios led by facilitators.

“I learned that if you put somebody down it can stay with them for the rest of their life,” he said.

Friday was the finale of the students’ local workshops, but the group is gearing up to take their message overseas.

“There’s a group of 15 university students that are travelling to Belfast, Northern Ireland in another month to run the same type of workshops that we’re doing here today,” said Anderson.

The leaders are hoping to have the same impact on students from Catholic, Protestant and other integrated schools in Belfast and surrounding areas.

To learn more about Peaceful Schools International or support the group’s trip, a GoFundMe page has been set up.

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