Protected: Our PeaceWiseKids Writers – the backbone
In this last article for 2018, I want to introduce you to the backbone of PeaceWiseKids.
Over the 3 years we have been developing this project to take peacemaking strategies to children, we have had the wonderful privilege of working with 11 teachers of varying ages from different schools and workplaces.
The writers for the Year 7 & 8 Course included Chriss Halyburton from Newcastle, Bob Pickworth from Penrith, Tim Stanwell from Belrose in Sydney and Allie Oweis from Seven Hills in Sydney. The writers for the Year 9 & 10 Course included Chriss and Allie again, plus Richard Grey from Belrose and Jess Mason from the Gold Coast. For the current Course (Year 5 and 6) I am currently working with Tim again, plus Sam Orridge, Ashlee Davey and Peter Fossey from the Gold Coast, Nicky Winter from Nowra and Rebecca Monin from Belrose in Sydney. Allie also gave a day a week last year to support the writing process with her educational expertise.
For each Course, the writing process starts with a retreat to brainstorm key ideas. Then the hard work begins, where we need to take the ideas gathered and produce creative live tasks for students at school, home school and youth group settings, and then online activities for the website learning. This work is all done from our homes online from different places around Australia. For busy teachers this commitment they have made to PeaceWiseKids is inspiring.
We are also grateful to the schools that some of our writers come from – Covenant Christian School, Hunter Christian School, Penrith Christian School, Kings Christian College and Nowra Anglican College.
I must say that since working for PeaceWise, I have been astounded by the amount of goodwill and generosity amongst our community. Many amazing people give time, talents, money, prayer, passion and encouragement all for the vision of reaching young people with Biblical life-transforming peacemaking skills.
As we prepare for the next phase of PeaceWiseKids – the 5 to 9 year olds, if you are interested in this aspect of PeaceWiseKids development, don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected]
Have a peaceful Christmas! Viv Batt – Content and Curriculum Manager
Course 4 = Engaging online activities
In this world of rapidly advancing technology, our aim with the PeaceWiseKids programs is to provide engaging, visually attractive, age-appropriate fun activities on the website.
Due to financial restraints we are not able to contract Sam to design the games we were hoping to put into Course 4, at this time. However, we have found some alternative programs that are enabling our team to design many cutting-edge interactive activities that the kids will love. We have found more talented contractors to help us with this, so watch this space for further exciting developments!
Introducing another expert on the PeaceWiseKids project
This month we’d like you to get to know a bit more about the amazingly talented and all round nice guy, Rob Harding.
Rob produced the first PeaceWiseKids Promo video as well as the second video that promotes the content of PeaceWiseKids.
Rob lives on the NSW North Coast with his wife and children, and spends time each week working in Sydney – the best of both worlds!
Rob is a talented video producer, working with such people as Colin Buchanan, through his company Good Monsters. Spot the references to PeaceWieKids in his showreel video!
He is also one of Australia’s finest voiceover artists. You can find out more about Rob by visiting his website. We are sure you will be able to recognise his voice and maybe even his face.
If you purchase Course 6 (for Year 9 & 10) or Course 4 (for Year 5 & 6), (and maybe later Courses not yet developed), you will hear his voice on the motion infographic videos and may even see more of his video production.
Rob’s voice is described as ‘warm and natural’ on his presenter showreel. That pretty much describes the rest of him as well. His faith in Christ is warm and natural and so is his personality.
We are truly blessed to work with him. Apart from Rob’s crazy humour, the best thing about working with Rob is that he is, like us, is passionate about the vision of PeaceWiseKids, and wants to see it reaching many, many kids.We honour Rob and the quality he brings to the PeaceWiseKids programs.
To keep in the loop with the progress of the PeaceWiseKids project, make sure you read our regular blogs here.
Course 4 is racing ahead
The development of Course 4 is racing ahead! Thanks to a number of generous donors we have been able to move ahead with Course 4 which is our first Primary School course designed for Grades Year 5 & 6.
Our 7 writers are at present very busy people. In between their teaching commitments, family and church responsibilities they are finding time to write some amazingly creative lessons to supplement the online learning. Please keep Sam, Ashlee, Peter, Nicky, Beck and Tim in your prayers.
Steve is moving full steam ahead, designing motion infographics, and Rob, with the help of a talented 13 year old are recording the voiceovers for the infographics. Very soon the writers will start on the second phase of their writing responsibilities, which is to think up online quizzes to go with the infographics.
We aim to have Course 4 ready for you in about March next year. We'll keep you posted about its progress.
meet one of PeaceWisekid’s technical gurus
Since the vision of PeaceWiseKids has started to become a reality we have engaged the expertise of various IT specialists to deliver the online content. This has involved complex website, database and Learning Management System (LMS) planning and programming.
We want to acknowledge and honour the work of Peter Kent from the Northern Territory, Wisdmlabs from India, Eric Koelma from NSW, Brown Box from Sydney, and most recently Mark Parnell from Spark Web Solutions and I-van Leong from Sydney.
We would like you to meet another one of our technical support team. Deb Bensted lives in Perth at the moment with her husband Mark, while her adult daughters live on the other side of the country. Deb has been helping and supporting PeaceWise in various capacities for more than two years now.
The longer she has been with PeaceWise, the more we have discovered about her array of skills – technical and otherwise. She has helped with programming, website troubleshooting, design and layout of the LMS, uploading of videos, creating engaging online learning activities, giving feedback on Biblical content, and so much more.
We are deeply grateful to God for Deb’s skills, and the gracious, servant-hearted and very hard-working way she goes about the support she gives. She is a most valued team member.
If you have the opportunity to purchase any of our PeaceWiseKids Courses, you will see some of her handiwork. However, much of her ‘backend’ work is not obvious to the average website user.
Deb of course hated this post being done about her – but then again, sometimes you can’t always have what you want
Thanks for your generous support!
Thank you for responding to the vision of PeaceWiseKids!
As a result of your generous support we have been able to pay for the work of our talented writers from the Gold Coast, from Sydney and from Nowra - Ashlee Davey, Peter Fossey, Samantha Orridge, Nicky Winter, Rebecca Monin and Tim Stanwell (pictured with the blog post of 15/8). They are using their spare time, in amongst the busy life of a teacher to write up lesson plans. Some will even be using their holidays to learn more about our online learning management system!
We have also been able to secure the talents of Rob Harding, a professional voiceover artist and a capable 13 year old boy to record the audio scripts for the motion infographics that Steve is designing. All this work has been able to now start because of the generous gifts of some wonderful supporters. If you are still wondering whether to give, please seriously consider it as we still have on hold our plans to add some online games to Course 4.
Give to PeaceWiseKids
Meet our talented PeaceWiseKids infographic artist!
We have been so blessed to find some awesome, talented people to work with who have a heart for the gospel and a passion to reach children with biblical peacemaking skills.
One of these special people is our motion infographic specialist Steve Unicomb. Steve does our PeaceWiseKids infographic teaching videos. He has two other jobs - he's a state school Chaplain and the Children's and Families Ministry Coordinator at his church north of Brisbane. He is also husband to Emma and father of two children. What's really awesome is that Steve loves making infographics, he's great to work with and he 'gets' kids. Check out his promo video here which displays the kinds of work he can do.
Steve created the motion infographics for Course 6 (Years 9 & 10), bringing our ideas to life. Next up, he'll create 15 motion infographics for Course 4 (Years 5 & 6).
We thank God for Steve and for all our creative team who have helped make PeaceWiseKids a reality! Over the next six months we'll introduce you to more of the team through our regular PeaceWiseKids blog post and here in Peace it Together. So make sure you keep following our blog posts here.
What is an animated infographic video?
Used extensively in PeaceWiseKids for the Year 9/10 Course, it is a relatively new form of visual technology that communicates a message with words, graphics, animations, photos and gifs in a moving video style. It is a really engaging way to communicate our peacemaking message with young people.
Let me introduce to you our video infographic specialist. His name is Steve Unicomb. Steve does our PeaceWise videos 'on the side'. He has two other jobs - he's a state school Chaplain and a Children's worker in a church. What's really awesome is that Steve loves making infographics, and he's great to work with. He brings my ideas to life!
His work is helped by our amazing Voiceover specialist, Rob Harding. He's a professional who's voice you would recognise from some TV ads!
Steve and Rob did the infographic videos for Course 6, and now they are ready to work on the infographics for Course 4. We just need some more donations to make this happen.
Do you have children or grandchildren who are teenagers? Then why not buy a few licenses and go through Course 6 online with them. Then you'll see what I am raving about! There's other good stuff there as well, which I will tell you about in the next blog!..
More about PeaceWiseKids
Upper Primary Course on the way!
Last week 7 talented teachers got together to start the writing process for Course 4, which is for Year 5 & 6 kids. It was a crazy time of creative brainstorming - pumping out heaps of ideas for each of the 15 topics of the Course.
We hope to have 15 amazing infographics, engaging child presenters, creative lesson ideas plus 2 interactive games the kids will love. There'll be an online product with a workbook and fun group tasks for kids with their own devices - at Christian schools and at home, and a group presentation product for SRE and Kids Churches.
All this is dependent on more funds coming in to pay the contractors. If you believe in the vision of PeaceWiseKids, please get behind us financially.If you would like support us financially please click here.
Course 6 – nearly ready
We have been working hard to get Course 6, for Years 9 & 10 ready and on the website for the start of Term 3.
Kings Christian College and Covenant Christian School have partnered with us to produce this Course. The videos are amazing - written and acted by teachers and students & produced by Wes Tolhurst. The online activities are engaging and the live lesson tasks challenge students to think outside the box.
Its such a privilege to provide contemporary materials to communicate to our young people the importance of developing peacemaking skills.
If you want to be kept in the loop with latest PeaceWiseKids developments, then come here, or to our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter.
Course 5 for year 7 & 8 is up and running!
If you've been waiting for the Course for Year 7 & 8, then wait no longer ... it's up and ready for you!
Are you a teacher? Do all your students have their own device? Then the premium online course is for you. Students can access all the features of online learning - videos, quizzes, interactive games, plus lesson plans and worksheets for the teacher to download.
If you are a Youth leader or teach SRE, then you'll be wanting the Group Presentation program, where a video, lesson plan and worksheet is provided for all 15 Topics.
Go to www.peacewisekids.org and check out the free trial, or go straight to the online store to purchase your program, along with some awesome posters as well.
Course 6, for Years 9 & 10 will be up on the website in early July, ready for Term 3.
PeaceWiseKids store goes live!!
We are so excited to announce the launch of the PeaceWiseKids online store! This has been an ongoing project, passionately driven by the time and efforts of many people. So, we really want to thank everyone who has contributed to making this project a reality.
The Year 7 and 8 course (course 5) is now available for purchase through the online shop on the PeaceWiseKids website. This course is web based and includes interactive activities, accessible on any device or browser. The course also includes age-appropriate videos, animations, quizzes, live tasks for the classroom and more! You can check out this course and all the other wonderful resources here.
We are continuing to develop the Year 9 and 10 course and hope to make this available by Term 3 of this year. We also have our sights set on developing a course for Years 5 and 6 which will happen later in the year. This is really something to look forward to!
Please join with us in prayer over the coming months as we lift up all those involved with the development of the courses.
If you would like to find out more about the PeaceWiseKids project please visit the PeaceWiseKids website or to support us financially please click here. Your support is greatly appreciated!
PeaceWiseYouth – for highschoolers
We listened to your feedback and made some changes. One of the biggest changes we made was to call our three Courses for highschoolers, 'PeaceWiseYouth'. So Course 5, for Year 7 & 8, Course 6 for Year 9 & 10 and Course 7 for Year 11 & 12 are now all called 'PeaceWiseYouth'.
Here's the new logo for Course 5
Burleigh Heads – a great fundraiser
Burleigh Heads is more than just a holiday destination!
The local surf club was the venue for a great evening of food, fun, friendship and inspiration. Bruce presented the PeaceWiseKids vision so well. Heather and Mitch, some of our longest standing supporters, also added their personal stories of encouragement. Thanks to the generosity of the guests on the night, our financial goal is getting ever closer. If you would like to organise a fundraiser in your local area, school or church, contact Viv for help and support.
Welcome to Allie!
We are so excited to be able to introduce to you our new staff member, who has joined the team. Allie Oweis is coming to us with a wealth of experience as a mother of teenagers, a teacher, uni lecturer and educational PD presenter with a load of passion for the Kids Project. She is working closely with Viv as we develop the content for each Course.
Its a big job creating and refining online and live activities for 15 topics for each age group, along with video content, games, worksheets and more. We are on the hunt for passionate, creative teachers and youth/children's leaders who are keen to help us write the content. Do you have experience with a particular age group? We are keen to hear from you. Email me at [email protected]
Our first (and urgent) need is help with writing for Year 9 & 10. So contact me asap if this is your area of expertise.
Second Promo Video is ready to view
In more news, we have also just released the second promotional video, produced by our our good friend and supporter, Rob Harding, of Good Monsters. This video tells you more about what's in PeaceWiseKids.
You can access the video at this link. Please feel free to share it: https://vimeo.com/peacewise/peacewisekidscontentpromo
Pilot Test is out!
There has been so much happening, but I've neglected to keep the blogs coming. So sorry.
You'll be excited to know that we have released the new website with the Pilot Course on it to a few schools and home-schools. They are starting now to test it with real students! There are some glitches to iron out (as always), but we are quite proud of what has been achieved so far.
Here's an image of the home page on our new website.
New website under construction
After months of searching, interviewing and negotiating we have found our new Web Developers! Eric and the Roarify team are website designers, digital marketers and copywriters and are designing the website it represent the vision and values of PeaceWiseKids with respect, humility and fun. The course design is primarily focused on creating the most intuitive user experience possible so that teachers, leaders and students can get the most out of the activities as they learn what it takes to be peacemakers for life. So, at the moment Roarify is adding content and design features to the new PeaceWiseKids website and by the end of March, we will be ready for some volunteer schools, churches and families to road-test the website and the Pilot Module. If you have any 12-14 year olds (Yr 7 & 8) at home, at school or at youth group, contact me and see if there are any places left to become a Tester of the Pilot Module.
a Sneak Peek at PeaceWiseKids’ first animation
Production of the PeaceWiseKids program is in full swing as we work on various aspects to bring it all together. One key aspect has been to develop engaging teaching animations for the first module of topics for our middle schoolers. Let me give you a sneak peak at characters our young people will get to know through the animated videos...
Covenant Hub sets an awesome example
Last week the Covenant Hub celebrated a year of friendship, fun and peacemaking with their annual Christmas dinner. Many members invited friends resulting in an attendance of 28. This year the Hub were inspired to provide an opportunity for people to give towards the PeaceWiseKids project. David played the promotional video (shown above), and added some creativity by putting together a musical slideshow of photos from the film shoot with the Year 9 group and Harri Gilbert the filmmaker. All up $780 was raised! What an inspiring bunch of people. Thank you to the Covenant Hub for putting your heart behind the Kids project.
How much fun can Year 9’s have?
This term, a class of Year 9 students from Covenant Christian School have had a heap of fun while making a huge contribution towards the PeaceWiseKids project. After 3 days of filming, a few weeks ago, I decided to thank them with a pizza party. This photo shows them thanking them me for the surprise pizza that turned up to their classroom last week! I must say it was a blast working with this creative, intelligent, fun-loving bunch!
Year 9 filming project a big success
Over three days, a group of Year 9 English students took part in filming for the Pilot Module being created by PeaceWiseKids. The students have been writing scripts to present a stimulating introduction to the first 5 topics of the Program for the Year 7 and 8 target age group. What a buzz it was to work with such interesting and talented kids! The young film-maker, Harri Gilbert proved to be an outstanding professional, relating well with the students and getting the best out of them. Thanks goes to the support of the staff and students at Covenant Christian School. The Pilot module is coming together well and will be tested in the first few months of 2017.
introducing our new young filmmaker
Just recently our group of Year 9 script writers from Covenant Christian School were privileged to meet their 'famous' film-maker. Their faces registered pleasant surprise when Harri Gilbert walked into the classroom with me, to lead a session on tips for filmmaking. An ex-student of the school and a Junior Tropfest winner a few years ago, Harri had a natural rapport with the students. I can't wait to see what the students can produce for the Pilot Module, with Harri as their filmmaker!
Check out Harri Gilbert on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube.
Hands-On Experience of PeaceWiseKids!
Hub members get a hands-on experience of PeaceWiseKids at a recent hub night...
Please keep praying for PeaceWiseKids. Thank you!
our first fundraiser!
Our first fundraiser - last week we had the opportunity to share the vision of PeaceWiseKids with a group 60 interested family and friends in Sydney at our very first fundraising event. It was a night of tasty Greek food, (provided by Sophie's Restaurant in Balmain), wonderful company and inspiring messages from Boyd Allen of Hunter Christian School and from Bruce Burgess, our National Director. We were blown away by the generous financial response and positive comments, confirming this as a God-inspired initiative. Two nights later Bruce was in Perth for a fundraiser sharing the same vision with a bunch of Christian business people. Once again the affirming response has encouraged us to continue to work towards the fulfilment of this project. If you would like to partner with us by organising a fundraising event in your part of Australia or New Zealand, please contact Viv, who can offer you ideas and support.
Awesome writing retreat
Work on the Pilot Module has ramped up with our recent writing retreat. Four of us escaped our busy lives for 2 days to focus on generating ideas for our first batch of content. The Pilot contains the first 5 topics ( Module 1) and is being designed for 12 -14 year olds (Yr 7 & 8). In beautiful bush surroundings (thanks to Ava and John) we listened to God and to each other as we brainstormed and created activities for this energetic and challenging age group. This work continues as we stay in contact to refine the work. Thanks to , Bob and Tim and the schools who released them. I also want to acknowledge the great group of teachers from Melton in Victoria who started the brainstorming process with me in July, and also the email group from around the country who make up the 'Think Tank', providing their feedback at crucial times during the development process. Viv
Year 9 join the team
Tying shoelaces is easy once you know how. But could you do it with another person and only use one hand each? This was one of many activities presented to a group of Year 9 students.
Staff from Covenant Christian School have offered the creative skills of one of their Year 9 English classes to help develop video content for the Pilot Module. These students will work in groups to write scripts for 5 engaging videos, then will help to produce them. You will be bale to see their handiwork once the Module is live on the new PeaceWiseKids website that is in development phase at the moment. This will be ready for release by Term 1 next year.
The challenge of doing a simple task like trying a shoelace, one handed with another person, presented opportunities for conflict, communication and planning. It also highlighted there are different ways to tie shoelaces so understanding those differences was important.
The PeaceWiseKids project is all about working together, utilising the skills and passion of many PeaceWise supporters, so getting teens involved is an awesome gift.
how can I help?
There are 3 ways you can help:
- Donate – make a personal donation, either as a once-off or as a regular monthly donation. If you are parents or grandparents, share this vision with your kids and ask for their help.
- Group Fundraising - get together with a group and fundraise together. Maybe your school or church community could pledge to raising money to fund a Module for one age group. This would be a pledge of $5000. Then you can devise creative ways to raise the money. You can even create your own dedicated fundraising webpage, and your group can see the gauge increase with each donation made.
- Offer your skills and time – we are looking for a whole bunch of creative people to contribute lesson ideas, write up lessons, proof-read, design graphics, illustrate, write a children’s story, write a theme song, videography, Pilot Module testing groups, etc.
the video production miracle!
PeaceWise is a small Christian organisation, but with a big vision and a big God who is bringing all the parts of the jigsaw together! Take the production of the video you have just watched above. The way all the parts of this video jigsaw came together could only be described as a work of God. We have been blessed to work with our Christian video producer, Rob Harding of Good Monsters and his small team of media technicians. We secured the services of Karen Pang, a beautiful Christian woman of Play School fame, who was so professional and such a pleasure to work with. Then, to top it all off, Covenant Christian School organised 17 amazing kids of all ages and cultural backgrounds to be our ‘representative kids’.
Thanks go to Frenchs Forest Anglican, who donated their church as the venue. The actual day of the video shoot was great fun and all went smoothly. Check out our Facebook page to see more photos. Since the Kids project was just a dream (which goes all the way back to 2007) we have seen God working to achieve His purposes. This is just one example. There is so much to be done, but we are confident that God – our ultimate project Manager - will guide our steps and put us in contact with the people he has planned to help in some way. Although PeaceWise is small, the supporters of this vision are many, and spread all over Australia and beyond. If PeaceWiseKids excites you, please contact me! Viv.
what IS the PeaceWiseKids project?
Good question! It is PeaceWise’s dream to grow peacemakers for life from the youngest children at school to the oldest teens. It will be delivered online to schools, churches and homes where teachers, leaders and parents want to teach their children how to deal with conflict in a biblical way to become peacemakers in the strength of Christ. Using the latest technology, teaching methodology and enduring Bible truths we are developing a flexible resource for many contexts where school-aged kids are taught.
There will be 7 age bands, following the groupings in the Australian curriculum. There will be 4 Modules per age band, based on the principles from the adult Personal Peacemaking training. Each Module is broken into 5 topics which can become one lesson or extended to more. The end goal is to have all 20 topics developed and loaded onto the PeaceWiseKids website for every age group (or band). The current plan is to develop content for years 5-10 in 2017 and the other years in 2018.