P.E.A.C.E. Out Loud Camp
At Dance Out Loud, we honor the magic of childhood through conscious community building. We provide camps, classes, parties, workshops and coaching to individuals and groups of children and adults. Our P.E.A.C.E. Out Loud camp offers small child:adult ratios, a loving and warm staff, age-appropriate and engaging crafts and activities, and a steady but flexible schedule that gives kids a lot of free play time.
Why P.E.A.C.E? And what does camp have to do with it?
At Dance Out Loud we are interested in Maker and Arts Education in and of itself and as a vehicle for child development, individual expression, community building, peace training and changing the world — not a small endeavor, by any means. Let’s begin with the most important part: why maker activities and music and movement for young children?
Perceptual-motor efficiency, the ability to move and make decisions about movement, is the means by which a child uses their body to get feedback from the world around them in order to develop motor skills, cognitive abilities and abstract thinking. Basically this means that when children move, and make decisions about how they move, they form connections in their brains and bodies which last a lifetime. Moving to music, climbing, building, running, tumbling and jumping helps children learn to self-regulate, and learn to use their bodies in positive and life-affirming ways. And it’s super fun, too!
What do children learn in the P.E.A.C.E. Out Loud Program?
When we give young children the tools to move their bodies and express themselves through building, art, dance and drama, we not only give them skills in artistry. We also give them confidence and ways to express themselves positively, which makes them less likely to strike out and more likely to communicate effectively. When children are also taught empathy and peace-building on an artistic platform, these concepts are more likely to be internalized in both the brain and the muscle memory. And when children are taught confidence, self-love and empathy, as well as the value of their own abilities and work, they become living examples of peaceful and productive ways of being in the world.
Can the P.E.A.C.E. Out Loud curriculum help individuals and schools deal with bullying problems?
Research shows that children who have high self-worth and coping skills are less likely to bully or to be bullied. It also shows that children who learn how to be advocates for themselves and others, rather than bystanders, are changing the face of bullying.
In Alameda Unified School District, for example, there is an anti-bullying campaign that addresses the bullied, the bully and the bystander, and helps to give them all tools to stop bullying behavior. The KiVa program in Finland is shown to decrease bullying across the board for all ages of school students (http://www.kivaprogram.net/).
We at Dance Out Loud believe that children who are taught to value themselves, each other, and the world we live in are less likely to engage in any side of the bullying triangle. And we actively give children tools to communicate, pause, and reflect, and help them learn to think in win/win scenarios where everyone gets their needs met.
Why does this program work?
Our P.E.A.C.E Out Loud program is the culmination of over 20 years of research and practice in classrooms, hospitals and community centers throughout the San Francisco Bay and Los Angeles Areas. Through dance, music, drama and visual arts, garden programs and camps we have been able to help shape the immediate and long term circumstances in the lives of so many children with a broad range of abilities and situations. We intend to help shape a generation where every child has the tools for a peaceful, productive and art-filled life.