Fifth Grade Explores Human Rights Through Workshops with The Peace Project
By Aima Raza P'24
The Peace Project, an NYC-based organization that provides human rights and global citizenship education programs, launched its human rights workshop series in the fifth-grade classrooms on Friday, February 2. The founder of the program, Aima Raza, an A-S parent, came in with the Peace Project team to work with the students. The Peace Project addresses a critical need for civics education in New York City schools, specifically working to inform, inspire, and ignite students to address human rights issues that directly affect them, their peers, their community, and their generation.
This program ties in seamlessly with the fifth-grade reading curriculum where boys explore civil rights and social justice issues with our novels, in particular, The Watsons go to Birmingham and Freedom Riders. The Peace Project bridges important historical events to modern day circumstances. It helps students understand how the past impacts our present and how activism influences people’s lives. Fifth grade will dedicate one reading class per week for six program sessions with a culminating field trip to the United Nations. The Human Rights workshops are timely in their application this month as we celebrate Black History Month.
The boys were eager to engage with this new material. They made excellent connections to various points in history: the U.S. Civil Rights movement, women’s suffrage, the current changes in national laws, and international multilateral treaties. It was very exciting to hear so many of the boys identify various human rights as causes that they are interested in learning more about.