Peace Prize created by elementary

Nominee qualities include being humble, respectful, truthful



Student Rylan Hathaway says the idea to create the Peace Prize came from his teacher Mary Krumpl Tuesday at Sunnyside Elementary School.

LOREN NEGRON, Evergreen editor-in-chief

Six students from Sunnyside Elementary School created a peace prize to recognize students who foster positive changes in their school and community.

Mary Krumpl, Sunnyside Elementary School special education teacher, said this peace prize project began as an assignment she had for her special education class, which consists of fourth and fifth graders.

She said students read meaningful stories through the program about children who are working to make the world a better place. The students learned about the International Children’s Peace Prize, which is an annual award given to an individual between 13 and 17 who advocates for children’s rights, according to KidsRights.

“Through our curriculum, we went through this little proposal,” she said. “We liked it so much that we wanted to do it for our school and actually make it real.”

All six students were heavily involved in developing the peace prize project, she said. Each student had a specific position: a presenter, writer, researcher or artist. They also created a poster that highlighted what their project involved.

Krumpl said the students developed the nominee qualifications themselves. Nominees had to be humble, respectful, responsible, honest, loving and truthful. They also had to do their best work, help others and be a friend to all.

“It was really important for me that the kids were making all of this up. They came up with all of the rules. They came up with the prize. They were in charge of all of those jobs,” Krumpl said.

Rylan Hathaway, fourth-grade student, said his class had fun because they were doing a project for the school.

“Everybody could see what we were doing for the school,” he said. “We were thinking we could make a poster saying what we studied, what we thought we could do, and then the rules and stuff and the prizes.”

Hathaway said his class enjoyed creating the prize, which was a lemon trophy. It was inspired by Krumpl’s lemon-themed classroom. Students used a spray bottle for the trophy’s base.

“The most fun thing was we got to pick whatever we want for the prize, and that means we could go off our imagination,” he said.

Each teacher nominated a student from their class, Krumpl said. All nominations were put in a bucket and were drawn randomly. Two winners were selected, and a lunch party was held on their behalf.

She said the week-long project impacted her students and the school as a whole. It helped promote values that were in line with Sunnyside’s core standards.

“We are the superstars, and we always want our kids to be safe and respectful and responsible,” Krumpl said. “That kind of is what those rules were that the students made. It’s helping them be a superstar on their own.”

Krumpl said she was inspired by her students’ efforts and humility. Her students were dedicated to the project and wanted to honor their fellow schoolmates.

“I think it’s really important for our kids to recognize people in our community that are helping to make it a better place, and that’s what they did,” she said.