Fourth graders at Peninsula School rally and march for “peace, love and justice”
While some people may not believe that 9- and 10-year olds can make a difference, one Peninsula School teacher, Betty Achinstein, believes they are change agents. This morning, Betty’s 4th grade class at the school in Menlo Park organized a march for peace, love, and justice.
The students first rallied at the school. Various students took turns coming to the microphone sharing their thoughts about peace and justice with parents and students from other classes. Betty then led everyone in all six verses of We Shall Overcome. It was like a touch of the 60s had been sprinkled on the assembled crowd.
“We were inspired by a number of factors: our Get Out the Vote campaign this fall; studying the civil rights movement; and our response to post-election discrimination this year,” says Betty. “We identified that we wanted to research the following topics: immigrants and refugees, racism and sexism, religious discrimination, and the environment.
“Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech, we wrote our own Book of Dreams for the kind of world we hope for. We met with Congresswoman Eshoo to discuss our concerns. We then identified the kind of activism we wanted to pursue.
“We decided to send a message for peace, love, and justice. We want to let everyone know about the kind of world we hope to create.”
After the morning rally, the students marched through Palo Alto, starting at Lytton Plaza and ending at City Hall.
Emailed longtime activist and Peninsula School neighbor Dorothy Fadiman: “Today, I went to Lytton Plaza and saw such a beautiful sight — a cluster of bright eyed 9- and 10-year-olds with their handmade gaily colored signs calling for awareness and care, for the planet and for each other. Anyone who saw them while they were marching,
or any passerby as they sat in the Plaza, could get a feeling for their sweet energy
and their message: a gentle, and in its own way, passionate call to awareness and to action.”
Photos by Linda Hubbard (c) 2017