United States 16 November: Norwalk, Connecticut

Norwalk Celebrates World Childrens Day!

After traveling from New York through the residue of a snowstorm which just finished early this morning, our team arrived at the Brien McMahon High School Center for Global Studies in Norwalk, Connecticut. The kids were outside waiting!

We were enthusiastically welcomed as we ran in!

We were delighted to have 15 year old actor and UNICEF advocate, Jaden Michel run the torch in and join us for the day!

Our team all set! We had members from all different parts of the country, and world! We all wore blue in honor of UN World Children's Day, which is on November 20th.
Our oldest member was Vajra, aged 82, pictured second from the left in the back. Our youngest was Jaden, at 15, centre front ;)

The students were a very welcoming, happy and gracious audience.

Introducing the Peace Run...

"I guess you are from The Dominican Republic"...correct!!!

Jaden spoke both candidly and deeply about World Childrens Day and the role we can all play in making the world a better place. He encouraged the students to begin to spread peace by starting doing something today- even by picking up trash on the side of the road!

Four students were awarded The Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run Torch Bearer Award.

The winners names follow: from 9th Grade was Fiona Nunn; from 10th Grade was Nathaniel Grauel; from 11th Grade was Samantha Herrera; and the 12th Grade winner was Maniyardpha Sirichantho.

These students were nominated by their peers as examples of how each one of us can make a difference by virtue of our own words and actions. They took a moment to share their thoughts on what peace means and how we can create it. Congratulations and a big thank you to all the awardees for your peace service!

On the back of the medallions is a quote by Sri Chinmoy: "To change the world around you, give the world what you have and serve the world with what you are."

On the screen behind, a portion of the words to the schools adaption and performance of the Peace Run song in 3 different languages can be seen. The 3 languages were Arabic, Chinese and Japanese. It was such a unique idea and we all loved it!

Santiva, who was born in Mexico, led us in an exercise of feeling peace in our hearts and sharing it from there out into the world.

Finally it was time for everyone to hold the torch!

A big thank you to all the students and teachers from the Center for Global Studies for embracing the message of the Peace Run so wholeheartedly!
Special thanks to Global Studies Director, Julie Parham, and Secretary, Laurie Cawley, for their super enthusiastic preparation and encouragement of the message of the run!
We hope we can come back some time soon!

Our next visit was to Brookside Elementary, where we were warmly welcomed by School Principal, Sandra Faioes, and the 5th grade students.

The kids had the chance to show off their geography skills by guessing our countries...this game is always fun for everyone!

Next it was time to learn the World Harmony Run song!

Jayashri spoke to the kids about the background of the upcoming World Chidrens Day, and what the kids can do to be part of it, starting by wearing blue!!

Jaden talked about how important each one of us is to peace in the world, and how we can contribute to that. He also entertained and delighted the kids, and all of us, with his magnanimous personality and big heart.

We all quietened down to feel peace in our hearts.

Time for the group photo, and to all hold the Peace Torch and share our own dreams of peace.

A big thank you to School Principal, Sandra Faioes, and all the 5th Grade kids from Brookside Elementary!!

A big thank you also to local coordinators, Sutushti, Sameepa and Bikashita for arranging everything, and even taking the whole team out for dinner afterwards! What a great day in Norwalk!!

There shall come a time
When all children of the world
Will enjoy one thing:
 Peace-dream.
-Sri Chinmoy