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Gateway to Peace relies on the support of community members to keep its program going. We estimate that each Peace Museum event costs approximately $80.00 per event hour, which means that an eight hour (full-day) event will cost the Museum $640. However, our goal is to provide our program to schools and community organizations free of charge. We cannot do this without the help of generous individuals like you!

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8324 Natural Bridge Road

St. Louis, MO 63121

314-930-3680 extension 110

 

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The History of Gateway to Peace

The idea for a traveling Peace Museum arose in 1997 when Charlotte Hoover, one of GPM's founders, visited the Children's Peace Pavilion (CPP) in Independence, MO.  As a pre-kindergarten teacher in St. Louis, MO, and a life-long peace advocate, Hoover struggled to address conflict in her classroom and her school, and continually searched for new resources teaching non-violent solutions to conflict.  Hoover was immediately struck by the Peace Pavilion's message, and felt it could offer valuable lessons in peacemaking to the children in her classes, if only it were available in her area.

Hoping to create a local peace "pavilion," Hoover teamed up with Janice Lotz, who was pursuing an MA in Religion at the time, and was writing her thesis on teaching peace to children.  Together, the pair began searching for funding to begin a peace museum locally, but met with significant resistance to the creation of a program based entirely on teaching peacemaking skills.  After September 11, 2001, however, many previous skeptics were convinced of the need to teach peace to children at a young age.  At this point, with the support of many congregation members, Hoover and Lotz approached the Community of Christ Church – a church whose mission is largely based around the pursuit of peace and social justice – for fiscal sponsorship.  The church agreed, and its Gateway USA Mission Center in St. Louis was assigned to oversee the Peace Museum project along with a nine-member Advisory Board.  With the help of numerous volunteers, the CPP, and the Children's Peace Center (CPC) in Atlanta, GA, Gateway to Peace was born, and its members began building the first of its many exhibits geared toward elementary school aged children.

In its first 5 years, GPM primarily brought its exhibits and activities to small youth groups and camps.  However, as news of the program reached teachers and school counselors, GPM began receiving invitations to hold larger events at elementary schools.  By 2007, the number of requests for the Peace Museum had grown so significantly that GPM decided to incorporate as an independent nonprofit organization.

Between 2005 and 2009, GPM shared its peacemaking lessons in 35 schools in 21 districts in Missouri and Illinois (not including the many schools we have visited two or more times).  GPM also visited children's groups in 19 other community organizations.  In 2010 alone, GPM shared its services with nearly 4,600 elementary and middle school-aged children.

 
 
     
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