We’re happy to share this guest post by (to our knowledge) the first person who studied our book, Great Peacemakers, as a middle school student and is now a teacher teaching it to their own middle school students! Thank you so much, Scott Hilliard, for inspiring the next generation!

Here’s Scott’s story:

When I was entering the seventh grade, the principal of my new North Carolina school assigned a book for summer reading. Of course, I was immediately turned off and annoyed that someone expected me to actually read over MY summer break! My parents and I bought the book, and I didn’t even touch it for the first few weeks. I hardly even knew the name!

As you can probably guess, this book was Great Peacemakers. At the time, I didn’t know what that meant or what it was. However, eventually I began reading and was instantly intrigued. I could relate to some of the people in the book, and I learned so much about real world issues.

As a young teenager, I started to feel like I could also make a change just like some of these peacemakers. Reading their stories and all they had to go through really hit home for me.

I never thought I would enjoy summer reading so much!

Once school started back, we didn’t use the book much. However, I was constantly rereading and researching more about the incredible people that were noted in Great Peacemakers.

Now, fast-forward about 10 years and I am beginning my career as a middle school teacher in the small Central American country of Belize. I was accepted to teach eighth grade subjects at a small island school. Of course, all the feelings hit me at once… nervous, excited, scared, and even a little nauseous. I had no idea what to teach these students!

After lots of research and advice from more experienced teachers, I formed my curriculum. When asked what books I would read with my class, Great Peacemakers popped up.

I could not think of a better book to teach reading combined with current events, world issues, peace, and social justice!

I thought of today’s world and how important it is to teach peace instead of violence. After researching this idea, I found out I wasn’t alone. Educators all around the world are teaching this book to our young people, and it’s working!

I had to share this story with the authors, Ken and Heather. I sent them a long email about my story and how I ended up in Belize. They quickly emailed back. Not only that, but they helped me find ways to teach this using interesting and engaging lesson plans. I mean, how awesome is that?

My students are loving learning about these peacemakers, and I hope one day they will become great peacemakers of the next generation. After all, they are our future.

   –Scott Hilliard

Are you an educator who wants to inspire students too?

Great Peacemakers can help you!

To learn more and order a free evaluation copy, please click here.