The Rosmarie Greiner Library at Cabrillo College in California is one of the inspiring resources the Sparklers draw on for our Indonesian Book Collection, selecting fine books for peace education. Rosmarie was a peace educator and activist who came originally from Switzerland. In the 1980’s she created the first peace education program for young children that I knew about.
The Rosmarie Greiner Peace Education curriculum is built around six age-appropriate themes:
- Knowledge of self and connection to others.
- Joy in diversity.
Imagination and playfulness.
- Care and love of nature.
- Sense of justice and creative conflict resolution.
- Global awareness.
Using books that in one way or another promoted peace, she categorized many children’s storybooks that support peace education. Even today we use these basic categories to help teach peace to children.
Rosmarie was a dear friend of mine. She loved to hike and garden and be outdoors. She loved most of all being with children. When I had the resources to build a house, she told me, “Susan, you must build a place that teachers can go to for retreats. A place where they can live and work together and do the peace building among themselves that we teach to the children.” My husband and I built that house and hosted over 100 residential retreats there. Today, August 24th, 2020, we are celebrating the survival of that house after the terrible forest fire ravaging the area. We are blessed to still have this wonderful home and retreat center.