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CSSH student helps to harness the power of play to foster peace

Mark Dietrich helps harness the power of play through peace
Mark Dietrich stands in the middle between two Peach Through Play volunteers

Mark Dietrich, SSH' 17, is co-executive director of one of Northeastern University's most popular student groups, Peace Through Play. He joined PTP in 2012 and worked with the kinder­garten and first-​​grade stu­dents at the Hurley School this spring, teaching them team­work, lead­er­ship, and crit­ical thinking skills through games like the human knot.

Peace Through Play is one of North­eastern University’s most pop­ular stu­dent groups.

Noted Sarah Kilroy, the director of the after school pro­gram at the Rafael Her­nandez School in Rox­bury: “Peace Through Play gives stu­dents the chance to get on stage and show their skills. We have had stu­dents cry when the vol­un­teers leave and ask to get their emails to stay in touch with them.”

One of these vol­un­teers is co-​​executive director Mark Diet­rich. He joined PTP in 2012 and worked with the kinder­garten and first-​​grade stu­dents at the Hurley School this spring, teaching them team­work, lead­er­ship, and crit­ical thinking skills through games like the human knot.

This was one of my favorite activ­i­ties because stu­dents rec­og­nized what we were trying to accom­plish,” said Diet­rich, SSH’17. As the game’s facil­i­tator, he watched as the kids’ team­work skills improved over time until they even­tu­ally elected a leader who guided the group to suc­cess. For him, working to pro­mote this kind of intel­lec­tual growth has been what’s made the pro­gram so rewarding. As he put it, “Some­times kids think what we’re doing is lame, but we’re per­sis­tent and they become more and more engaged as the school year goes on.”

Read the full story at news@Northeastern

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