Literacy for Peace and Justice
We convey technical knowledge and skills critical for strong literacy development to family and community members, including teachers and librarians, globally in ways that develop peace at home and in society. We offer sequences and adaptations that support stages of human development and varied abilities among people.
- Offers resources: books, tips, and lesson plans for parents and teachers
- Models how to read aloud to engage the listener’s mind and imagination for parents and teachers
- Models how to teach literacy through active, experiential approaches
- Develops stories that illustrate instructional moments on how people, of any age, act in a peaceful, just society
1 in 5 people around the world are illiterate.
Many people counted as literate are functionally illiterate — they have to work so hard to decipher the words they cannot grasp the meaning.
Illiteracy and functional illiteracy have serious consequences, such as
- Impoverished imagination and diminished human potential
- Cut off from information and connection to others
- Lower lifetime earnings, poverty, and chronic health challenges
- 83% of children who cannot read by the 3rd grade drop out of schoo
Literacy, on the other hand
- Promotes Social-Emotional Development. Books widen our world view. Books are one of the most vital ways that children can learn about others by having the chance to infer other people’s feelings in situations by their actions and reactions.
- Inspires Interpersonal Understanding. Young people develop critical thinking skills as they look for evidence to justify their statements. Skills such as active listening, a sense of responsibility, patience, empathy, and more can be acquired through books.
- Engages Life-Long Learning. Books are an effective way to present and teach how to identify a problem, think through it, and apply a solution to overcome the problem. This necessary life long skill of critical thinking is quintessential for children at any age, but especially if started at an early age.
We collaborate with Friends from the Quaker Religious Education Committee and Yearly Meetings globally. Join us!
Maida (Mary) McKenna has worked in teacher education for 30 years. In 2004, she felt called to share active approaches to teaching literacy in Africa. Under the care of Storrs (CT) Friends Meeting, she joined a movement to educate diverse teacher candidates in New York City. This work led to the challenge of developing literacy curriculum materials for Nepali teachers, which evolved into Literacy for Peace and Justice in Nepal, Lebanon, and on-line. Two Legacy Grants from New England Yearly Meeting helped develop books for teaching literacy that model how people resolve problems while respecting humanity and all creation.
In 2020, Maida’s ministry came under the care of Friends Peace Teams growing into her original calling as she brings peace literacy to Nepal, Indonesia, Rwanda, and around the world.
Turtle MacDermott came of age in the social activism of the mid-1960’s, which led her to Quaker work camps and a life-long engagement with Friends, largely in New York Yearly Meeting (NYYM) and Southern Application Yearly Meeting and Association (SAYMA). The values she has developed there, along with the critical thinking skills whose formation began in elementary and high school, have informed her life experience. This experience has included several years in Europe, raising and home-schooling her own children, and more recently engaging with Native American cultures and issues. The gifts she offers in writing, editing, and organizing language and learning bring a focus to clear communication, deeper consideration, and engagement from a variety of cultural perspectives.
Nadine Hoover founded Friends Peace Teams’ Asia West Pacific Initiative, Nadine transitioned the Power of Goodness story collection from Friends International Library in 2013. A former preschool teacher, Nadine received a doctoral degree in Educational Foundations and Policy Studies from Florida State University and served as lead consultant to open the Directorate of Early Childhood Education in Indonesia. Understanding nonviolence, trauma recovery, and developmental learning as three pillars of recovery from war or violence, Nadine has supported Peace Place in Indonesia, with preschool and parenting programs, a community peace library and reading room, and community training center.