United States 7 May: Little Rock, Arkansas - Ola, Arkansas
Students For Peace
Our first stop of the day was at the Stephens School in Little Rock. We were welcomed with some incredible signs made by the sudents and teachers.
On one welcome sign there was a quote by Sri Chinmoy, the Founder of the peace Run, "Courage to love is the only way to become truly happy"
Principal Philip Carluck kindly introduced the Peace Run and then had the children come up to offer some of their poems and songs about Peace and friendship.
A huge map of the world offers the students a chance to find our country or state in a colorful and tangible way.
One of our songs offers the students and teachers a way to participate and get some creative exercise as well.
It was thrilling to see that some of the children were able to make their own torches as they reflect on the meaning of the Peace Run and the Peace Torch.
We are always very grateful to the schools who invite us to participate with them in sharing and reflecting on peace.
Principal Carluck and Vice Principal Barbara Griggs lead the peace run around the cheering children.
Teachers and students have a chance to hold the Peace Torch and offer wishes, prayers and goodwill for peace that we will carry to the next destination.
Nicholas and his good friend Hanson who lives in Arkansas carry the Torch together for many miles today.
This local gentleman, Greg, stopped to get some information about the Peace Run. He was very curious about our torches as he will sponsor a Special Olympics torch relay this summer as well.
David, a local man here drove up to the runners to give them bottles of water. Spontanteous kindness always uplifts us and keeps us going.
At Two Rivers Middle school they offered a program to an auditorium full of children while the men's team was still running another long section of our route towards Ola.
We are very grateful to the children and staff, especially Lindy Minnie for organizing this event for us.
Of course one of the most popular aspects of our visit is the opportunity to pass the Torch and run with the Torch on a min-peace run around the school.
Happy smiles for peace. It is always uplifting to see lots of smiles after our visits to the schools. We try to carry them with us as we move down the road to our next destinations ahead.
After our long day we settled in just as the sun was setting in a very scenic spot south of Ola called Quarry Cove Recreation area in Plainview.