Valley Crossing celebrates 13th annual peace site rededication
According to Mahatma Ghandi, “If we are to have real peace in the world, we must begin with the children.” Valley Crossing Community School (VCCS) follows this belief and exemplifies the notion of peace in their daily actions and their school philosophy. But did you know that VCCS is also an established International Peace Site?
Peace sites begin when a community of people commit themselves to following five peace actions and they promote their dedication by having a ceremony, planting a peace pole and putting a designation plaque at their site. VCCS was first designated as a peace site in the spring of 2002 at their first celebration with Lynn Elling, World War II veteran and founder of World Citizen, as their speaker. Every year since, VCCS has rededicated their community as an International Peace Site.
On Wednesday, April 29, students came together for their 13th annual celebration to sing, hear speakers, review the peace actions and recommit themselves as an International Peace Site. This year’s theme, “Respect Diversity: Together Our Differences Make us Stronger” brought students together through their reading buddies program to examine similarities and acknowledge and celebrate their differences. Diversity was also exhibited through two performances – fourth and fifth grade students sang and learned American Sign Language to “We’re Going to be Friends” by the White Stripes, and the VCCS choir sang “Amani Utupe” from Kenya, which means grant us peace, give us courage.
Two sixth grade boys volunteered to emcee the event to gain public speaking experience, and other students designed posters that serve as helpful reminders of the five peace actions:
Five Peace Actions: 1. Seek peace within yourself and with others. 2. Reach out in service. 3. Protect the environment. 4. Respect diversity.
5. Be a responsible citizen of the world.
Click here to learn more about International Peace Sites and the World Citizen organization.
Northeast Metro 916 is one of three intermediate school districts in Minnesota, serving approximately 4,000 students through shared programming that includes career and technical education, special education services, area learning centers and elementary education.