Peaceful School Award

Columbus Elementary Receives the Inaugural PEACEFUL SCHOOL AWARD!

Award with Principal Gerling.JPGOn Thursday, June 11, 2015, Peaceful Schools presented the amazing staff and students of Columbus Elementary in the Utica City School District with the inaugural Peaceful School Award. Staff from Peaceful Schools, including characters from Peaceful Schools’ production of Have You Filled A Bucket Today? The Play, joined the school’s All-Star Student assembly to celebrate the Columbus Elementary as a Peaceful School. The Peaceful Schools team led the entire Columbus Elementary family in singing the Bucket Filling Song and Columbus’ Peaceful People theme, the S.T.A.R. Song!

Peaceful Schools was honored to give Columbus the Peaceful School Award for meeting the following criteria:

  1. Demonstrate a building-wide commitment to supporting social skill development and peaceful problem-solving strategies.
  2. Work collaboratively with Peaceful Schools to support and sustain a peaceful school climate.
  3. Find fun and creative ways to incorporate the Peaceful People lessons, language and support activities into the school day.

Staff and students at Columbus have praised the positive impact of Peaceful People on their school. “They talked to us about real-life things,” said Jamilette Pineda, a 6th-grade student. It provided “a way to keep reminding us to be good to our classmates.” 

Principal Elizabeth Gerling added that embracing the Peaceful People curriculum “has turned the climate of our building into more of a family atmosphere. Bullying incidents have decreased significantly since bringing Peaceful People into our school.” Gerling cited a 75% reduction in bullying referrals this year, in comparison to last year’s data.

“We couldn’t be more proud of the efforts and dedication of the Columbus staff and administration in using our programming to support the social-emotional needs of their students,” said Lura Lunkenheimer, president of Peaceful Schools. “We are thrilled to recognize Columbus with the first-ever Peaceful School Award! Special recognition goes to Principal Gerling for her commitment to infusing Peaceful People into the school year in fun and engaging ways.”

About Peaceful Schools

For over 15 years, Peaceful Schools has partnered with school districts all over NY to help develop social emotional programming and supports, tour theatrical productions and train thousands of teachers and staff in Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports. Together, we Create Caring Communities. To learn more visit, or call us at 315-558-4219.

Prof dancing with Students.JPGProfessor Smarty Pants III dances with Columbus students.