By DePaul Healthy Trailblazer Journal (8B) staff | DePaul Assistant Principal Ms. Welsh said she felt the school could use a place where children could work through their emotions away from the classroom.
That place is called the Peace Room. It’s on the second floor of the school building.
Money for the Peace Room was a gift from a do- nor who wanted to honor his wife’s 75th birthday, Ms. Welsh said. Mr. Palmer, the donor, had contacted people at the Independence Mission School to find out a project that he could help make a reality. They suggested the Peace Room.
In an interview with the Healthy Trailblazer Journal, Ms. Welsh said she got the idea for the Peace Room from the school where she worked in Mexico City. The school had an outdoor space where students could meditate and learn coping skills.
“I realized that there was a lot going on in Philadelphia and students needed a space to learn how to cope with stressors,” Ms. Welsh said.
Students can spend time in the Peace Room to get rid of their anger or to feel better if they are sad, she said. The main rules are:
- Be respectful to yourself and others.
- Maintain a low level of noise.
- Ask permission to use the Peace Room.
DePaul’s Peace Room opened in January after six months of planning and construction. It has exercise equipment such as a stationary bike and punching bags. There are books, art supplies, games, and a SmartBoard. There are also paintings on the walls by a neighbor of Principal McKenzie. Reporters from the Healthy Trailblazer Journal, including Jasmine, Lorraine, and Janet, worked on the banner.
The Peace Room also has peace guardians who help students figure out what’s wrong and see what they need to cope. The guardians include Ms. Welsh; Ms. Westfield, a school counselor; Ms. Dickson, a school counselor; and Ms. Tiffian, an instructional coach.
Any student can use the Peace Room, Ms. Welsh said. All they need is permission from a DePaul staff member.
But the Peace Room is not just for students. DePaul teachers and staff members can also use it.
“I am very happy with how it’s going,” Ms. Welsh said.
Illustration by Alexandra, La Salle Academy.