Play and Partnership: Celebrating the 2015 International Day of Peace

Play and partnership can help us to imagine and create more peaceful world. On Monday, September 21, the students and teachers at Rooftop School will gather for a moment of peace at Morning Circle. We will fly the peace dove puppets made by third and fourth graders to mark the day with Roots and Shoots, Jane Goodall’s youth-focused organization.

“Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.” — Jane Goodall, With Love (1999)

When Dr. Jane Goodall was just over one year old, her father gave her a toy chimpanzee named Jubilee, in honor of a baby chimpanzee born at the London Zoo. Friends warn her parents that such a gift will cause nightmares for a child. However, Jane loves the toy carries it with her everywhere. Today, Jane travels with a stuffed monkey named Mr. H, who has been touched by over 2.5 million people from around the world and visited more than 60 countries with Jane.

Understanding the power of children in the conservation movement, Jane Goodall spoke directly to youth in this 2008 video interview.

As a United Nations Messenger of Peace, Dr. Jane makes it a priority each and every year to observe and celebrate the annual International Day of Peace on September 21. One of the ways that students can celebrate the day is by building a Peace Dove Puppet.

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Instructions for small and giant puppets can be found on the Roots and Shoots website.

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Dr. Goodall encourages individuals around the globe to participate in the United Nations International Day of Peace which is celebrated on September 21 each year. This year, an especially auspicious one with the UN’s celebration its 70th anniversary, will have the theme of, “Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All.” Click here to learn more about Dr. Goodall’s role as a UN Messenger of Peace and how you can participate in celebrating in the annual Day of Peace.

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On Sunday, April 13, The Luggage Store Annex and ArtsEd4All partnered to bring The Butterfly Effect to Sunday Streets in the Tenderloin. In support of Makeway for Monarch’s “Call for Contemplation and Action for Monarchs and Other Imperiled Pollinators” marking the 50th Anniversary of the passing of author Rachel Carson. Visitors to the stretch of Ellis Street between Hyde and Leavenworth were invited to learn more about the plight of the monarch butterfly.

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The day began on the street readings, Butterfly Poems & Stories delivered by Norma Rodriguez, Mark Heinrich, Joanie Juster, and Christine Dodds, while inside the Tenderloin National Forest, Amara Tabor Smith ladled out helping of her delicious stew with “Fresh from the Oven.”

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Butterfly-inspired art activities included bookmaking with Mary Ann Cruz with support from Academy of Art University School of Interior Architecture & Design student volunteers.

“Got Milkweed?” Judy Toupin invited passersby to try their hand at planting. Milkweed plants were on display, and The Pollinator Project provided information about how to create pollinator gardens and raised awareness for the protection of butterflies, and their habitats and migratory paths.

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Young readers were invited to learn more with the Little Free Library #9859, which was filled with books about caterpillars, butterflies and other pollinators, along with a special contribution of specially selected titles donated by Chronicle Books.

“Butterfly Wings,” a special photo booth created by Rooftop School art coordinators Amy Balsbaugh and Cheryl Ball, with help from the students in Ms. Duff’s first grade class, invited passersby to transform themselves into beautiful monarch butterflies.

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Crowds gathered in the street to enjoy special musical performances by Rooftop’s rock bands Blade and C&R directed by Mike Rao of The Blue Bear School of Music. The street entertainment culminated with Mark Heinrich’s dramatic reading of Ray Bradbury’s science fiction classic, The Sound of Thunder,” a cautionary tale involving time travel, dinosaurs and a lone butterfly.

Blue Marbles were given in gratitude to all who pledged to use their voice to help protect the monarch butterfly for future generations. The Butterfly Effect posits that the flap of a butterfly’s wings can set great winds of change in motion, so it was only fitting that as Sunday Streets drew to a close, Lucia of Michoacán should appear on Ellis Street to share childhood memories of forests, dense with the wondrous fluttering of orange and black.

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ArtsEd4All “The Butterfly Effect” at Sunday Streets Team

Event Coordination: Darryl Smith, Luggage Store Gallery & Andi Wong, ArtsEd4All
Event Activities: Mary Ann Cruz, Judy Toupin
Photo Booth: Rooftop K-8 Art Coordinators Amy Balsbaugh & Cheryl Ball, Ms. Andrea Duff’s first grade class
Live Performance: Amara Tabor Smith “Fresh From the Oven”
Rooftop Rock Bands Blade and C&R; Mike Rao, director, Blue Bear School of Music
Readings: Chrissy Dodds, Joanie Juster, Mark Heinrich, Norma Rodriguez
Volunteer Support: Academy of Art University School of Interior Architecture & Design, Rooftop K-8 alumni parents Victor Yan, Wendy Hanamura, Sheila Hall
Community Partners: The Pollinator Project, Chronicle Books

For more information and ways that you can help the monarch butterfly, please visit:

Monarch Watch:  http://monarchwatch.org/

Pollinator Partnership:  http://pollinator.org/

The Xerces Society: http://www.xerces.org/educational-resources/#online

Selecting Plants for Pollinators: http://pollinator.org/PDFs/Guides/CalifCoastalChaparralrx6FINAL.pdf

National Geographic:  How to Create Your Own Monarch Butterfly Rest Stop:  http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/news/140819-monarch-butterfly-way-station-vin

US Forest Service:  “Attracting Pollinators to Your Garden Using Native Plants”

http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/

http://www.thebutterflysite.com/create-butterfly-garden.shtml

The Human Rube Goldberg Machine

In 2009, the Rooftop teachers reported back to school and went right back to the business of play with our Art Is… Innovation study.  In this team-building exercise, the teachers worked together to make one big human Rube Goldberg Machine.  The simple task of moving a ball through the machine was completed with great panache, as each teacher came up with their own unique way to pass a ball to the next person.  The goal was to pass 40 balls safely through the machine, without dropping any.

Innovative solutions are often possible when problems are tackled from a different perspective, and new insights are drawn.  When the global design firm IDEO comes up with new ideas in order to solve a problem, they often get inspiration from analogous situations. They may look at the team effort of a racing pit crew and apply their observations and insights to designing an environment for an operating room in a hospital.

Link to IDEO’s Design Thinking Toolkit for Educators

After completing the activity, the Rooftop teachers talked about the challenges that they encountered, and the different ways that they solved the problems.  Sometimes, an artistic experience can help people look at everyday life from a different perspective.  The group found the activity to be a good metaphor for the student educational experience at Rooftop.  Teachers must work together in synchronicity to ensure that the children travel through their time at school.  The children are touched by many hands as they go through their 9 years at Rooftop, and the members of the school team do not work in isolation.  Education is a team effort.