LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — Students at Lansdowne Elementary School in Lexington will take part in their third annual Unity Walk on Friday.
The event coincides with lessons students learned for International Day of Peace, which was Thursday.
As it is every year, the goal of the march is to get students thinking about what it means to live in a peaceful society, and how they can spread peace and kindness in the world.
In the weeks leading up to this year’s event, students have been learning about marches like the one they’ll take part in, why people do them, and the importance of standing up for what you believe in.
Art Teacher Katie Rafferty says she uses a lot of visuals to help kids easily understand such challenging topics, and the kids have been getting in on the fun by making signs and pictures with symbols and words pertaining to peace that they’ll use during the march.
School Principal Jennifer Fish says while she and the rest of the faculty at Lansdowne recognize all of the kids may not understand the true meaning behind the walk, they say it is fulfilling to see them practice the core values the school preaches.
“We talk a lot about character at school—lots of character traits—respect, responsibility, compassion, empathy—and so this is just a way that sort of brings all of those great character traits together for kids,” Fish explained.
Fish says at Lansdowne they have students who come from all over.
Kids who speak different languages at home, celebrate different holidays and practice different religions.
Fish says kids will be kids, they’ll know the differences between them and their classmates, but it won’t stop them from being friends and learning from one another.
LATEST KENTUCKY NEWS
On Friday’s walk, their acceptance of each other will be on full display. It’s a simple act, teaching them to look past the hate in the world and choose to love instead, which is something Rafferty hopes the rest of Lexington takes notice of.
“I hope that our community is inspired by our kids,” Rafferty says. “I think there’s such a great innocence that kids have that, for me, it helps remind me of how simple some of these concepts can be. Yes, they’re grandiose and they’re big concepts, but they really are just simple. At the end of the day.”
The march starts at 10 a.m. on Friday morning, but both Fish and Rafferty are confident that the spirit of what happened will carry on for the remainder of the school year and beyond.