BCPA / TPN.com School Grant Winner

Broome County Peace Action in collaboration with teachpeacenow.com have secured a modest victory for peace education (albeit a high quality one) with BCPA’s funding of Binghamton’s Benjamin Franklin Elementary School’s social action project, “Culturally Responsive Authors Club”. This is the inaugural year of the Teach Peace & Justice Action Research Grant program. It was designed to encourage teachers and students in Broome County to take positive actions that will foster peace and justice in their school and community.

Brigitte Pittarelli, a teacher at Ben Franklin Elementary will coordinate with Rose Olsen from Binghamton University to recruit bilingual interns to help them and ten E.L.L. (English Language Learners) students publish a book composed of language experience stories. Over a course of eight meetings from February until the middle of April 2020, ELL students will work collaboratively as authors to create language experience stories about how to help others understand cultural responsiveness.

This initiative is designed to help decrease conflicts due to a lack of understanding cultural differences. Students will share stories with each other, their teacher and the Binghamton University mentors of difficult situations that they face at school. Through this dialogue, students will work cooperatively to create a narrative piece to share with others. By attaining an understanding of the typical reactions to common behaviors in their academic world between the E.L.L. peers and their grade level peers, students are empowered to create a more peaceful environment for themselves and for the school community, at large.

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