Smart Tools for Life specializes in books and music to guide children to create peace through social emotional learning and conflict resolution skills during their formative years.

WILMINGTON, NC, September 20, 2017 /24-7PressRelease/ — September 21 is the day schools and homes across the world will sit down with their children and talk about peace. According to the United Nations website, the International Day of Peace this year “. . . will focus on engaging and mobilizing people throughout the world to show support for refugees and migrants.”

“Those who are not suffering from a war-torn environment can sometimes push aside this day as irrelevant for them. However, so many of our actions have world-wide implications. We need to remember we can do something in all communities to bring people together and enhance their safety and dignity,” said Julie Penshorn of Smart Tools for Life. “For young children, we can introduce them to child-friendly conflict resolution and peacemaking materials.”

The Smart Tools for Life project, “I STOP for Peace”, focuses on drawing attention to the peaceful conflict resolution techniques and acts of kindness and caring already present in the child’s world. It invites children to share a story of how they worked out a problem with someone, or spent time playing with the new child in school, or had a child from a different country or background over to their house, or brainstormed a solution to a problem that worked for all.

Celebrated across the globe every year as the International Day of Peace, the goal of World Peace Day is to bring nations and people together. The theme for 2017 is “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All”. The upcoming book, the second in the Barnyard Buddies series, “The Barnyard Buddies Meet a Refugee” will make this topic relevant to all young children as they watch the unhappy, lonely dog find acceptance and purpose in the group of Barnyard Buddies.

At the Smart Tools For Life website, people can find out more about this book and others, and submit their children’s stories. Smart Tools for Life is compiling them and will share them in an upcoming book. Those contributing to the book will be sent a free copy.

World Peace Day is especially timely and relevant this year, because the subject of immigration and the refugee crisis have become a political battleground in the US, effectively splitting the population into two camps – those for and those against. It is urgent that we, as a society of global citizens, learn to resolve our conflicts, on this topic and others, in ways that enhance dignity, respect, and safety for all involved, rather than pursue ways that divide us.

But how do we do that? As Gandhi said, “We must begin with the children.” Smart Tools for Life creates children’s books, children’s music and other state-of-the-art resources that teach children how to problem solve in creative, respectful, and peaceful ways. They provide practical and inspiration tools rooted in the latest concepts in neuroscience, social and emotional education, and environmental education. The materials are catchy and fun, and are a great way to introduce young learners to the idea that developing these skills and caring for themselves, others, and the planet, is not only fun and engaging, it’s a normal part of their learning process.

By sharing these tools with children, influencers help kids become the leaders of tomorrow, capable of co-creating a culture we all want to live in.

“The children easily grasp the skills for conflict resolution and anger management when they are presented in an engaging story like ‘The Barnyard Buddies STOP For Peace’. They will refer to the Barnyard Buddies long after the story is read in the classroom or home,” said Penshorn.

“I heard a wonderful story from a parent who told me they went to the zoo after reading the book and the four-year-old child said, ‘Oh look! The zebras are not sharing their shelter! They need to have Mrs. McCloud (the peacemaking owl in the story) help them learn to be peacemakers.’

“Everybody remembers the Dr. Seuss stories they read to their children, or heard as children,” continues Penshorn. “That’s because this type of story sinks deeply into the hearts and minds of kids, often for life. At Smart Tools for Life, we create similar stories: fun, engaging, rhyming, with great art, that have a message. We recognize it’s not just what we teach that matters, but how we teach.”

Author Julie Penshorn, MBC, is a co-director of the nonprofit, Growing Communities for Peace and director of it’s Smart Tools for Life project. Penshorn co-authored an earlier curriculum on conflict resolution, complete with hands-on-learning tools, that is in use in over 13,000 locations. Now, she’s focusing her unique talents on children’s books and music and a blog-based approach to supporting peace literacy and building a culture of peace.

Smart Tools for Life’s product line includes kids books and music, conflict resolution cubes and wearables. There is also a free, downloadable coloring page for kids, based on the flagship children’s book, “The Barnyard Buddies Stop For Peace”.

Author Julie Penshorn is available for media interviews and can be reached using the information below or by email at [email protected]. More information about the books, music and other products is available on the website at

Smart Tools for Life is an ongoing project of the nonprofit, Growing Communities for Peace. It serves parents and educators by providing children’s books and children’s music, and makes it easy and engaging to bring state-of-the-art social skills like peacemaking, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding, to young children, thereby encouraging more harmonious, sustainable relationships with others and the planet.

Their materials are designed to develop peace literacy as they educate, entertain, and empower all those involved to strengthen families, classrooms, and neighborhoods. They also provide other teacher and parent education to support and maintain a culture of peace.

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