Full Circle celebrates International Peace Day

Published 9:43 am Friday, October 1, 2021

Students and families gathered at Full Circle School in Rice on Friday, Sept. 24, to celebrate the International Peace Day. The celebration was established by the United Nations in 1981. It has become a day dedicated to non-violence and cease fire around the world.

Angela Whittaker, school director, spoke at the opening of the ceremony.

“Peace is a complicated concept. We often define it by its opposite, the absence of strife or war. Peace is worthy of our direct attention, and to understand it fully, we need to teach it through active experience like art and activities that prompt and create peace. We believe that teaching and practicing peace is far more affective and impactful than teaching an ‘anti-bullying’ or ‘anti-drug’ curriculum. Once you experience peace and are supported in the attainment of peace through meditation, mindfulness through yoga, how to use Brain Gym to calm the body; then, we can say to a child, ‘Remember when we did the meditation how you felt? Let’s sit and find our breath and calm center before we take our test, or address a conflict with a peer, or express our needs when we are frustrated.’”

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Judy Chambliss shared, “We began celebrating Peace Day as a foundation for (the) Peace Education Program (at) the school. It has grown into a week dedicated to understanding the idea of peace in the many areas of human experience. We discuss peace as it relates to food access, clean water, social equity, health care and much more. This year, my class focused on gratitude for our first responders. It is a powerful week that culminates with our Peace Day celebration. Our families and the community attend as we have a ceremony to render our ‘peace flags’ from the previous year. These flags contain words, phrases and images that represent our wishes and hopes for creating peace in the world and in our individual lives. At the end of the day, we make new flags for our “Peace Pole.” We share our flag and intentions for the upcoming year.”

Students at all levels write poems, create art, write letters or take action in other ways to support the ideas of peace in their lives, their community and in the world.

“The whole ceremony is very moving. We usually have tears from our audience and community participants,” Whittaker shared.

In addition to Peace Day, Full Circle students participate in the Great Kindness Challenge each January.