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LORAIN, OHIO…. With inspiration from Dr. Martin Luther King’s message of unity and equality, Lorain Community School and Austin, Texas-based nonprofit, Peace Through Pie (PTP), aim to rekindle the tradition of Pie Socials as a vehicle to continue MLK’s dream.

Local charter school math teacher, Stephen Kerney, held his first PTP social with 60 fifth and sixth graders last year complete with pie from local bakery MamaJos to apply the lessons of Dr. King in their lives and community. Kerney explains, “Schools could not be more ready for Dr. King’s dream of peace and equality to combat the recurring violence that has devastated communities across the nation.”

Due to the eruption of popularity among students last year, the entire school is participating in PTP this year with a capstone assembly and pie social in the presence of Lorain’s Mayor, Chase Ritenauer. Ritenauer will deliver a peace proclamation to the 320 students grade K-8. Students will present a collaborative musical performance with body percussion to highlight the event. Following the assembly, students will gather around the “table of brotherhood” where they will share pie, friendship, and equality.

Melisa Shady, principal of the school believes that, “the positive message of tolerance, acceptance and peace is one that translates well into all aspects of our educational program and encourages our students to stand-up and make a difference in our school, community and beyond.”

Lorain Community School is the first K-8 school in the nation to adopt the Pie-O-Neers for Peace Program, designed to help schools and youth programs promote diversity, inclusiveness and cultivate peace on campus. The PTP organization also teamed up with the Anti-Defamation League’s No Place for Hate initiative in several schools, which have tailored the program to fit their needs – from classroom celebrations to campus wide events.

During PTP students will be given opportunities to show leadership and “step up to the plate” to become a Pie-O-Neer for Peace. Students will take a pledge that they commit to pursue peace and friendship and sign the banner to serve as a landmark of peace in the building.

The assembly will take place on February 1st at 2pm in the school gymnasium.

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