World Peace: It Starts with a Book

This past weekend, the Charlottesville Daily Progress ran a story about Mr. Hunter’s fourth grade class at Agnor-Hurt Elementary School. The emphasis of the story was how this group of students has solved many of the world’s problems playing the World Peace Game designed by their teacher.

In March 2012, visited the Pentagon at the invitation of Leon Panetta, the US Secretary of Defense. For a day, the Secretary of Defense and his senior met with this group of elementary school kids and sought their advice and talk about world peace and other sticky situations (like global economic issues). This was more than the usual tour … there was serious give and take. Read more here.

[amazon_link id=”B001ULBPPC” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Art of War by Sun Tzu[/amazon_link]Cool, huh? What most people probably glossed over is that it started with a book: Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. Not your usual reading for a group of 9- and 10-year-olds in a public elementary school, but what a powerful way to introduce them to the world around them. Mr. Hunter didn’t “teach down” to his kids, he challenged them and they answered the call  … and it started with a book.

What is even more cool is that Mr. Hunter teaches at a  Title I elementary school, helping some of the poorer students in our county. At the risk of preaching to the choir … these are kids that aren’t likely to have books to call their own.

Book People UniteIf a group of fourth graders can solve global problems and bring about world peace [in a week!] then surely we can help them by solving a “straightforward” problem like literacy. Being part of Book People Unite is a great first step. When I visited the site the first time, what struck me was the simplicity of the pledge. “I am a book person because …”

As Jen points out in her post I’m a Book Person are You? the conversation on Twitter is an “inspiring celebration of books and literacy.” At what other time in history could we have had so many celebrities side by side with teachers, parents, children, librarians in a universal community effort. I’ll close with this from the Book People Unite about page:

We’re bringing together people who share our love of reading to help us get books in the hands of kids who need them most. The movement recognizes the incredible effect books can have on a child’s imagination, sparking ambition, overcoming obstacles and inspiring curious minds.

A book can do that … so what are you waiting for? Join us! Help YOUR literacy community get books to readers in need. Tomorrow, the elementary school students in your neighborhood just might solve the world’s problems because of  it! World Peace, here we come!