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presentation on a large screen, created by Malone’s sister, Joan Malone, of the school’s computer technology staff. She also created an elaborate photo slide show of the students, presented with music to enhance the sense of unity that day.

“It’s an integrated arts program,” said Ellen Malone of all the teachers coming together to make the peace chain a success. “It gives the kids a sense of community.”

As the chain was being created not long after the presidential election, Malone related that she spoke to the sixth graders about the differences of opinion and values not only in this country but in the world. “It was a good process to help them understand differences,” she said. “They were wonderful. They had a lot of questions and a lot got answered for them.”

Malone emphasized that the peace chain is not just a holiday concept, but one that applies all the time. Each grade will have part of the chain hanging in their classrooms for the rest of the school year.

As the peace chain exited the gymnasium, the spirit of inclusion and unity carried on with Rice’s annual holiday sing-along. As they did with the peace song, each student sang loudly and proudly, some holding hands.