United States 20 November: Bronx, New York - Manhattan, New York
Go Blue for World Childrens Day!
Happy World Children's Day!!! Our team was thrilled to visit One World Middle School for the first time! We were warmly welcomed by a super enthusiastic team of staff and ambassadors- we were very impressed to learn that at this school the students are all referred to as Ambassadors.
We ran into the auditorium and all the ambassadors were waiting to welcome us. They were all wearing blue headbands in honor of World Children's Day.
One World Middle School Orchestra Chamber, led by teacher, Lea Ivanovic, opened the event with a wonderful performance.
We introduced the Peace Run, sharing with the ambassadors that our goal is to encourage everyone we meet to believe the world is our home, it belongs to all of us, and that each one of us can create peace in the world by starting with ourselves.
Of course, at One World Middle School, everyone understands why we are called the Oneness-Home Peace Run!
Next it was time to test the kids geography skills, since our team members originate from many different countries.
Next, Peace Run Coordinator and former UNICEF Campaign Manager, Jayashri Wyatt, spoke about World Children's Day, how it originated and how its ideals are very similar to those of the Peace Run- that no matter where you are from or what your cultural or religious beliefs are, we all have the right to live in safety and peace.
We were delighted that UNICEF advocate and young local actor, Jaden Michael, joined our team for the second time to share his support of children around the world and encourage the ambassadors that we can all do something to help.
Alexis Estevez presented a powerful and beautiful spoken word piece that he had written and memorized at very short notice- thank you Alexis- it was truly moving!
Next was time to honor the ambassadors who were nominated by their classmates as Peace Makers. We may not have photos of all of them, but their names follow:
Shanyce Long, Charlie Li, Ariel McLeod, Ethan Southwell, Charlize Browne, Jameel Sheppard, Baylee Williams, Milton Rodas, Karishma Jitlall, Stephany Lopez, Bethany Brown, Gustavo Cuatlacuatl, Andy Kharran and Dallas Sandis.
We were so happy to be invited to shake hands with the Peace Makers!
All our congratulations and gratitude to all of you!!
Six students, two from each grade, were nominated to receive the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Torch Bearer Award. This award has been offered to individuals all over the world, from all walks of life, who embody and exemplify the qualities we all strive to cultivate to make the world a more peaceful oneness world home.
Congratulations to Kayla Bogerd, pictured here.
On the back is a quote by Peace Run Founder, Sri Chinmoy,
To change the world around you,
Give the world
What you have
And serve the world
With what you are.
Congratulations to Joshua Mason!
Jaden and Peace Run Executive Director, Salil Wilson, presented the awards to the recipients.
We offered our Certificate of Appreciation and an artwork by Sri Chinmoy, entitled "Peace is the indomitable response to life's every challenge" to One World Middle School Principal, Patricia Wynne, and Assistant Principals Deirdre Hogan and Kameca Gordon. All our gratitude to these three remarkable women for wholeheartedly embracing the message of the Peace Run, making it their own, and sharing it so enthusiastically with all the ambassadors!
Lunthitha Duthely, who lives in Florida but whose family comes from Haiti, led a moment of silence and inner peace.
Shanyce Long, who is pictured forth from the left wearing a blue headband, produced a super excellent short documentary slideshow which we watched as part of the presentation. It featured all the initiatives the school and students have taken over the last couple of years to share the values of One World Middle School within the school, the local community, and the world!
Finally the OWMS Peace Makers and Torch Bearers led our Peace Run team on a running tour of the school, inside and out, holding the torches high, while fellow students cheered us all on, despite the frigid temperatures!
The whole school deserves a Torch Bearer Award! The biggest thank you to all the teachers and ambassadors for the joy and inspiration you gave to all of us! We hope this is the beginning of a long friendship with the Peace Run!
We had a little time before the next school visit to have a team photo op outside the United Nations! Thank you to our great team!
Our presentation was for the second grade, and we were delighted to meet these adorable children from all different countries!
A big thank to Jessica McArdle of UNIS, who was instrumental in arranging our visit. She is pictured here with Peace Runner and former Unicef employee, Karabi Hart. We would also like to thank Junior School Principal, Pascal Vallet, Director of Student Activities, Zakaria Baha and other UNIS staff who enthusiastically welcomed the Peace Run and arranged for our visit. We hope this is also the beginning of a long friendship between UNIS and the Peace Run!