By RAEGAN MILLER
Daily News Staff Writer
Staff and students at Ketchikan High School have been celebrating peace with the school's fifth annual "Kings for Peace" week, which began this past Friday and will end this Friday.
This year, the focus of the celebrations is on creating "ripples of impact" in the community, according to a recent email from Kayhi English teacher Sarah Campbell, the organizer of the event.
The event centers around the International Day of Peace, which this year was Monday.
The first "Kings for Peace Week" event was held in 2017, and featured the installation of a "peace pole" in Kayhi's commons. The peace pole features the phrase "may peace prevail on Earth" in six different languages — Japanese, Haida, Tlingit, Tsimshian, Tagalog and English.
Over the past five years, the Kayhi student body has come together to recognize the week via assemblies, events and social media challenges.
Due to COVID-19, "Kings for Peace Week" last school year was largely held in a virtual format, according to Campbell. And because Kayhi is still operating at a high risk level of the Ketchikan School District Smart Strong plan, the challenges have again been centered around social media and distanced events.
"Throughout the past year and a half, we've experienced a lot," Campbell wrote to the Daily News. "This entire world has been touched, challenged and transformed, and as we begin to heal from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are thinking anew about the world we are living in."
Campbell continued, "Standing together as 'Kings for Peace' we can be an instrument of positive change. In exploring ways to work together, think together, dialogue together — we can shape peace together! As part of our 5th annual 'Kings for Peace' event, we challenge you to explore your hopes, to spread compassion and kindness, and to reach for peace to generate 'ripples of impact' that will benefit our school, community and world."
A schoolwide Zoom meeting took place during advisory class periods to kick off the week on Friday. This Friday, peace-themed activities also will be completed during advisory periods.
Some of the week's activities have been centered around social media, including posting a quote about peace on social media on Friday, participating in a beach cleanup this past weekend, decorating the Kayhi commons graffiti wall on Monday and hosting a virtual dance party to the song "Move Your Feet" by Junior Senior on Tuesday, according to Campbell.
On Wednesday, students will be encouraged to wear white to school, and on Thursday, students are challenged to "lend your skills to help someone in need," according to Campbell's email.
On Friday, to end the weeklong celebration, Campbell wrote that Kayhi students can "take the Peace Day Challenge!" To do this, stuents can finish the sentence "'I create Ripples of Impact by ...' " in a social media post.
"Our goal is for Kayhi students and members of the community to share the daily challenges on social media using the #KingsforPeace," Campbell wrote. "We want to generate positive Ripples of Impact throughout our community as well as on social media."