The journey began two years ago when Hannah Pickworth and Cindy Woodruff, school librarians from Baltimore, MD, attended a conference sponsored by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY). Inspired by an exhibit entitled Hello, Dear Enemy, Books on Tolerance and Peace and an accompanying presentation on the collection’s founder, Jella Lepman, they set out to create a center devoted to collecting and sharing books and curriculum materials that highlight the themes of peace and social justice. The recently opened Peace Study Center, a nonprofit organization located in Baltimore, is the result of their efforts.
The Govans Presbyterian Church kindly agreed to house the center in their education building and the September grand opening featured a presentation by Colman McCarthy, former Washington Post columnist and director of the Center for Teaching Peace. The facility consists of a gallery, a peace garden, a labyrinth, and a kitchen. It contains a large meeting room, perfect for hosting workshops for educators and visits from parents and children. The Center also houses an extensive book collection, a catalog of which can be accessed through a link on its website.
For those outside the Baltimore area, the Peace Study Center website offers a vast array of valuable resources for both educators and the general public. It includes a list of colleges and universities offering degrees in peace studies; various resource lists and curriculum suggestions for educators; and “Peace Links,” a guide to other websites and magazines with peace and social justice themes.
The Center also offers tours and welcomes the opportunity to work directly with children. In addition to this, Cindy and Hannah are available for speaking engagements, recently leading a discussion at Roland Park Country School, called “Peace and Justice: An Evening of Books,” with all proceeds donated to the Peace Study Center. For more information on how to “build a more peaceful world, one book at a time,” visit the Center’s website.
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