Our History

This is where we began:


The Peace Education Foundation began in the minds and hearts of two dedicated teachers intent on making a difference. Grace Contrino Abrams and Fran Schmidt, both long-time teachers and peace activists, begin incorporating conflict resolution principles and practices into their classrooms’ curricula. Peace Education is born.


Grace and Fran collect and publish a number of their conflict resolution lessons for the classroom.



After Grace passes away in 1979, a small group of like-minded individuals officially founds the Peace Education Foundation as a non-profit organization and forms a board of directors.


With the help of her friend and colleague Alice Moffatt-Friedman, Fran publishes the first of what will become the official Peace Works curricula, Creative Conflict Solving for Kids. The Foundation opens its first office in space donated by the Miami YWCA.


The Foundation honors its first Peace Teacher and Peace Administrator of the year, and the winners of its first Peace Essay Contest, at its first Annual Awards Luncheon.


A small group of board members meets each Friday to manage all tasks, from answering phones to bookkeeping to shipping.



The Foundation hires its first full-time professional staff.


The Foundation purchases its first headquarters at 2627 Biscayne Boulevard. The Foundation hires a full-time editor, public affairs coordinator and training coordinator. The Foundation develops its first training model, providing teachers and other youth professionals with in-depth background in conflict resolution and peer-mediation.


The Foundation completes its most ambitious curriculum to date, WinWin! This high school unit includes a full-color “magazine” and a full-length video.


With a full- and part-time staff of more than 20, the Foundation outgrows its original building and moves to 1900 Biscayne Blvd. The building includes offices, training facilities and shipping. The Foundation hires a full-time graphic artist, and the training department expands to three full-time trainers. The Peace Education Foundation forms a partnership with Jamaica’s school system. The Foundation’s materials are placed in all of the country’s elementary schools.



The Peace Education Foundation becomes a non-governmental organization (NGO) in special consultative status with the Economic and Social Counsel of the United Nations. With completion of new grades one, two, three, six and seven curricula, Peace Education Foundation becomes one of only a handful of providers to offer grade-specific conflict resolution curricula.


The Foundation makes significant inroads into Latin America, forming partnerships in Argentina and Chile. The Foundation also presents at the International Scout Jamboree in Chile


Maintaining its position on the leading edge of conflict resolution education, the Foundation publishes a white paper detailing the research-based effectiveness of its model.


Continuing its work in Latin America, the Foundation forms new partnerships with Colombia and Costa Rica. The Governor’s Safe and Drug-Free Schools Grant provides training and materials for Miami-Dade County Region VI schools.



We provide training and materials for Miami Inner City Catholic Schools, funded by a Koch Grant.


We publish Creating Caring Children for parents and professional caregivers, extending our scope beyond school-age to children from birth to age three. Helping, Not Hurting: Teaching the I-Care Rules through Literature provides in-depth instruction specifically for Kindergarten classes. Prepared for Action: Responding Effectively to Crisis in Your School provides schools and districts with a comprehensive manual for addressing any critical event. Allegany Franciscan funds continue the work in Region VI, expanding to the Redlands Migrant Christian Association, and underserved communities in and around Palm Beach County. An Adrian Dominican sisters grant begins a three-year program of trainings throughout Latin America.


We publish the Spanish version of Creating Caring Children. One of our earliest books, Creative Conflict Solving (for grades 5-9), enters the Peace Scholar series as it gets a total workover with revised and expanded lessons, and a completely new visual style. Eighth grade gets its own grade-specific resource, Conflict Resolution in American History: Lessons from the Past, Lessons for Today.


Funding from The Children’s Trust, in collaboration with Miami Dade Child Development Services, begins a broad-based training using Peacemaking Skills for Little Kids, Helping, Not Hurting, and Creating Caring Children for early childhood centers in Miami-Dade County.