"The weekly meeting of the BetterWorld Kids Club is now called
to order!" Ahmed typed on his laptop. In their own homes
all across the planet, the BetterWorld Kids tapped in the BetterWorld Kids
Club worldwide web address onto their computers, pressed
ENTER, and suddenly appeared together in Cyberspace.
After the BetterWorld Kids had finished hugging each other, they
noticed a new kid standing next to Indira, staring at
the empty void with his mouth hanging open. "Sacré bleu!"
he kept whispering as he held tightly onto Indira's hand.
okay," Indira whispered reassuringly. The BetterWorld Kids Club
controls only let us visit Peace-Friendly sites in Cyberspace.
We're perfectly safe here."
Pierre wasn't totally convinced. But he loosened his grip
on Indira's hand, just a little. "Everyone, this is my
friend, Pierre, from France," Indira said to the group.
"Pierre has something exciting to share called the Appeal
of the Nobel Laureates."
Pierre!" the kids said together.
what?" Solomon asked.
Laureates are the people who've won Nobel Prizes!" Ming
Desmond Tutu!" Jamal pointed out.
Mother Theresa," Erin added.
Pierre said. "Before Mother Theresa died, she and all
of the other Peace Prize winners signed a special appeal
that us Kids can help spread around the world..."
the Kids said together. They loved getting involved in
important peace-activities, and this sounded like it was
a BIG one.
all know how hard it can be sometimes to have 'Peace'
..." Pierre began. "There are ALWAYS going to be conflicts..."
HAPPEN!" Johnny sighed.
how we deal with those conflicts that matters..." Indira
can fight and argue ... with neither side listening to
the other," Cheyenne began.
we can really try to find a solution so that both sides
can win," Michiko piped in.
win-win solution!" Juan exclaimed.
Pierre said. "There are 'tools' that we can learn to use
to be more peaceful, so that we don't let our emotions
make us say and do things that get us into trouble."
can learn conflict resolution..." said Ming.
peer mediation..." Ahmed added.
listening, dialogue, and negotiation are important skills
to learn for conflict resolution and peer mediation..."
Pierre continued. "Education is the key to changing our
world into a culture of peace. That's why all of the Nobel
Peace Prize winners signed an appeal asking the world's
leaders to dedicate the New Millennium to help educate
kids with tools for peace and nonviolence."
New Millennium sure hasn't started off on the right foot,
so far!" Jamal sighed.
we need all the peace we can get!" all the kids agreed.
are the future, and if we grow up knowing how to work
out our problems peacefully, we'll find peaceful ways
to deal with the grown-up world, too." Pierre continued.
meanwhile, the grown-ups will change while we're learning
to be peaceful, too," Ming pointed out.
we'll help teach them!" Ahmed said, looking up from his
laptop. As the club secretary he was typing as fast as
he could to take good notes.
all learn together!" Cheyenne declared.
Pierre continued explaining, "So the Appeal of the Nobel
Laureates joined forces with UNESCO..."
part of the UN, right?" Michiko asked.
it's the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization, which has its headquarters in Paris..."
right," Pierre said, "UNESCO ... Hey, what's happening?!"
He grabbed onto Indira's arm as the BetterWorld Kids suddenly
found they were standing in front of a big building.
at UNESCO's website," Ahmed announced as he finished tapping
into his computer. He stuck it on standby, shoved it into
its case and draped the strap over his shoulder. "Come
on!" he laughed. The kids strolled together down the tree-lined
street towards the UNESCO building at 7, place de Fontenoy
in Paris, France.
The BetterWorld Kids toured the building and then sat down together
at a cafe down the street from UNESCO headquarters. "UNESCO,"
Pierre sighed happily, and while the kids munched on croissants
he continued the story he had begun before they had visited
the UNESCO site.
the Appeal of the Nobel Laureates and UNESCO convinced
the United Nations to declare the first decade of the
21st century as the "International Decade for a Culture
of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World..."
a mouthful!" Ming laughed.
it's a great mouthful!" the Kids chimed in together.
Pierre laughed with the kids. Then he continued. "They
worked hard to have the Appeal signed by 100 million people
all around the world for the year 2000. They presented
these signatures to the United Nations during a special
Millennium Assembly in September 2000..."
Pierre lifted his croissant up to his mouth, took a bite,
and then almost started choking. The cafe and the street
leading to UNESCO Headquarters were starting to fade away.
His eyes widened as they suddenly found themselves sitting
up in the balcony of the General Assembly Hall at the
A guard was leaning over the chair in front of them with
a wastebasket held in his hand. "You kids can't eat in
here!" he whispered motioning for them to deposit their
food in the wastebasket. Each of the kids stuck the rest
of their croissants into their mouths and held up their
empty hands innocently. The guard rolled his eyes and
checked the badges the kids had pinned to their shirts.
He rolled his eyes yet again as he walked away with the
Pierre looked down at the Badges that had somehow appeared
on their shirts. "Millennium Assembly Pass" it said.
we're back in the year 2000 at the Millennium Assembly!"
Pierre laughed as he jumped up from his chair. He had
completely adjusted to cyber-traveling and he was thoroughly
enjoying himself now.
isn't that the President of the United States?!" Johnny
gasped, pointing down below.
that's my Prime Minister!" Solomon exclaimed.
Each of the BetterWorld Kids pointed out their country's leader
sitting attentively below.
the Millennium Assembly brought the most Heads of State
together in one place, ever!" Pierre told them.
They watched as the Appeal of the Nobel Laureates was
presented to the Assembly along with bags and bags of
The great hall of the General Assembly started to fade
and the BetterWorld Kids found themselves back in cyberspace
with 100 million signatures, you would think it would
have shown the leaders of the world that the PEOPLE want
PEACE!" Juan exclaimed.
the world's leaders haven't listened, yet," Pierre sighed.
"But millions of people all around the world are trying
in little and big ways to make this world a better place.
And young people like me are using a kid's version of
the Appeal - called the Nobel Peace Pledge - to help kids
stand up and say they want a more peaceful world."
The Kids were all eager to read the peace Pledge so they
could sign it, too.
can get kids to sign this for the International Day of
Peace on September 21," Michiko exclaimed.
on October 24 on United Nations Day!" Ahmed added.
Earth Day!" Cheyenne pointed out.
and for January 1, too!" Juan chimed in. "Pierre, did
you hear that the United Nations also invited the world
to celebrate a worldwide day of peace EVERY January 1?"
Jamal asked. "That way the world can start each new year
trying to live in peace. Our Peace Club worked hard to
help spread the idea for the very first celebration of
One Day In Peace back on January 1, 2000."
of those dates are wonderful times to hold campaigns to
get kids to sign the Peace Pledge. But even more important
than signing it and spreading it, is living it," Pierre
reminded them. "Every kind thing that we do helps the
world to be more peaceful. We can find lots of little
ways to put this pledge into action..."
our daily lives, you mean..." Johnny said, "like how we
talk and act with our families, our friends, our classmates,
and with our neighbors ..."
stopping to think about how our actions affect others
and the environment," Ming added.
Suddenly the BetterWorld Kids were floating in front of a giant
scroll. They swam closer to have a better look and started
to read the Peace Pledge together...
pledge in my daily life, in my family, my school, my community
& my country to:
1. Respect all life - I pledge to respect people that
are different, and treat people and animals with kindness
2. Reject violence - I pledge to find peaceful ways to
work out my problems without using violent actions or
3. Share with others - I pledge to share my time to help
out in my community to make life better for others.
4. Listen to understand. I pledge to allow others to express
their point of view; to find win-win solutions to problems
so that both sides can win; and 'agreeing to disagree'
if we can't come to an agreement.
5. Preserve the planet - I pledge to practice good environmental
habits like recycling and helping to protect the earth
and its habitats.
6. Rediscover community - I pledge to do my best to help
my family, friends and community to get along.
Just as they finished reading, they heard Ahmed's laptop
beeping -- the batteries were running out.
Alors!" Pierre sighed. "It's time to go home already?"
you can join us again next Friday for the next meeting,"
the BetterWorld Kids assured him.
Before they adjourned the meeting, the BetterWorld Kids all agreed
that when they got home they would try to get their schools
to sign the Nobel Peace Pledge.
get our churches and synagogues and mosques to sign it..."
get grocery stores and department stores to include flyers
in every bag for their customers..."
write Letters To The Editor of our newspapers urging our
communities to sign the Pledge..."
write our Mayors and Governors and ask them to declare
Proclamations urging all citizens to participate in the
Appeal of the Nobel Laureates campaign..."
We'll convince our communities to stop what they're doing
each day at 12 Noon and join in the universal wish: MAY
PEACE PREVAIL ON EARTH! "
But most importantly, the BetterWorld Kids decided to try to
find one thing each day that they could do to make their
daily lives more peaceful.
Then, in the twinkling of an eye, the BetterWorld Kids were all
back in their own homes.
for inviting me to join your BetterWorld Kids Club," each of
the BetterWorld Kids saw on their computer screens as Pierre
typed from his home in Paris. "It's still possible that
together we can help turn this New Millennium into the
Peace On Earth Millennium -- a new era in history in which
the world works hard to bring peace on earth. Together
we are all making a difference for a better, more peaceful
world, one day at a time."
Peace Prevail On Earth," each of the BetterWorld Kids typed with
a smile, and the adventure was officially adjourned. Until
the next cyber-meeting of the BetterWorld Kids Club, of course.
A BetterWorld Kids Adventure
© 1996-2012 Robert Alan Silverstein
2004 Ginger Nielson
BetterWorld Kids Clubs Stories