How to create a Peace Bridge at your Elementary School!
Have you ever heard of a Peace Bridge? Elementary schools are very focused on giving children the tools they need to work through problems and express their emotions. This is called social emotional learning. Recently my principal asked me if I would paint a "Peace Bridge" at our school. A Peace Bridge is a place where students can go to work through and express their feelings. Here is how we did it!
I started by taking a trip to Home Depot to buy some Traffic Striping Paint. I also picked up a small roller and some 2" painters tape. The rest was stuff I already had in my classroom: various paint brushes, acrylic paints, a bucket of water, tape measure, sponges and paper towels.
Back at school, we walked around our campus and decided on a location near the 1st and 2nd grade classrooms. This bridge can be used with any grade, but the younger kids are the ones who will benefit the most from the scaffolding of the Peace Bridge.
Our amazing janitor washed down the blacktop and put up cones and caution tape around the area where I was going to paint. I let it dry overnight and came in the next morning to begin painting.
I started by taping out a rectangle and then all the lines I would need to make up the bridge. Next I wrote/drew out everything in chalk.
My next step was painting everything in with the white traffic striping paint.
Next, I painted color in some areas. I went directly over the white paint. The white underpainting makes the colors stand out more.
All in all this project only took me one day. It is helpful to have a second person helping you at the beginning with the tape, but it could be done as a one person job.
This project could take two days at the most. I worked pretty fast and got it all done in one day. Once all the paint is dry you can peel up the tape!
The kids at my school love the Peace Bridge and often go there on their own when they have a conflict. We have plans to paint another one in another area on campus in the future. Let me know how your Peace Bridge turns out!