ENCINITAS — As the beat of African drumming set the upbeat tone, hundreds gathered for a celebration of peace during the official release and book signing of “WISH BIG: Children’s Wishes for the World,” June 18.
Kids for Peace hosted the party on the plaza of Pacific Station just behind Art N Soul to celebrate the publication of its second book.
“WISH BIG” is a collection of vibrant and inspiring artwork by Kids for Peace members, each author illustrated their wish for the world. The contributors, many of them in attendance, range in age from three to 11 and represent the organization’s chapters around the world.
The global reach of the locally based nonprofit was evident from the pages of the book. In fact, His Holiness the Dalai Lama was recently handed the very first copy.
“It’s so wonderful to be a part of this organization,” said Carlsbad resident and board member Jennifer Hardy. Her son, Ethan, 7, was one of the authors.
“My wish for the world is that I wish everyone would use their voice for good,” Ethan said. Others included Shivani Parmar, 9, who lives in India and wrote, “I wish for peace in all things.”
Others centered on friendship and kindness. “I wish that everyone could be friends and not bully each other,” wrote Daniell Pahm Nguyen, 8. Jefferson Elementary student Valia Garduno, 9, said, “I wish everyone would treat others as they would like to be treated.” Garduno’s proud family joined her during the event as she humbly displayed her illustration.
Several of the young authors and illustrators signed copies of the book. In addition, children participated in a special Father’s Day Wish craft activity. The bake sale provided delicious treats at unbeatable prices.
“I was thrilled to find these adorable children here,” said Rachelle Serifin, who said she was downtown shopping when the music drew her to the event.
“They are all so proud of their work and they should be,” she said. “This is a bona fide coffee table book that actually provides some insight into children’s thinking from all over the world.”
“It is uplifting to see that children are supported in a positive way to be creative and do good,” said Cynthia Eaton, a Solana Beach resident. “With all of the bad news today it’s refreshing to know that so much good is actually happening.”
The nonprofit Music Moves the World provided entertainment with master drummer Nana Yaw Aseidu and Vikas Srivastava as well as youth guitarists. Children joined in using traditional African drums and instruments to liven up the festivities.
Founded in 2006, Kids for Peace is a chapter-based nonprofit organization dedicated to cultivating every child’s innate ability to foster peace through cross-cultural experiences and hands-on arts, service and environmental projects. With over 100 chapters spanning six continents, boys and girls of all ages meet regularly to creatively put their “Peace Pledge” into action.
For more information, visit kidsforpeaceglobal.org. Books are for sale at Art N Soul and available though the organization’s website, kidsforpeaceglobal.org.