Celebrating Diversity to Promote Peace In Northern Illinois

international-day-of-peace-3Books have the power to promote peace and celebrate cultural diversity.

Just ask the Peace Coalition of Rock River Valley! This grassroots organization works throughout the year to spread the message of peace. One of their biggest events of the year is called the “International Day of Peace,” an event established by the United Nations in 1981. Celebrated annually around the world on September 21st, the International Day of Peace provides an opportunity for individuals, organizations, and entire nations to practice acts of peace in their communities.


This year, the Peace Coalition, along with the support of over 100 volunteers, hosted their 14th Annual International Day of Peace. The theme, “Developing Understanding Through Bridging Cultures,” was celebrated at the Keeling-Puri Peace Plaza in Rockford, Illinois. The four-hour event included special guest performances by local schools, “tents” featuring different stories related to diversity and peace, and other interactive activities. A total of 11 schools — 44 teachers and 850 students — attended this year’s celebration!


One of the tents featured Anne Sibley O’Brien and her new book about three immigrant children, I’m New Here. Anne has illustrated 32 pictures books and authored 14 of those titles; amongst her most popular titles include The Legend of Hong Kil Dong: The Robin Hood of Korea and A Path of Stars.


Prior to this event, the Peace Coalition purchased 100 copies of her I’m New Here with BookPal and distributed them to the classrooms that attended the event. Here’s the most amazing part: Each of the classrooms taught the book to at least one other classroom! That means that the book touched the lives of over 1,700 kids between kindergarten and 5th grade.

Anne Sibley O'Brien visits a 5th grade classroom in Kishwaukee Elementary School.

Anne Sibley O’Brien visits a 5th-grade classroom in Kishwaukee Elementary School.

We’re thrilled to see how our clients are harnessing the power of books and love working with amazing organizations like the Peace Coalition of Rock River Valley. Thank you for sharing your story with us, Karen!

Share your story with BookPal! We love hearing about how our customers are using their books. All you have to do is leave a comment below.

This post was written by Elizabeth Lee, the marketing manager at BookPal. She is currently reading Onward by Howard Schultz.

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