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Shinnyo-en Foundation and the Casady School join hands in celebrating the International Day of Peace: Shinnyo Fellows inspire hundreds of youth

“What’s your Path to Peace?” Courtney Alpeter, a senior at the Blake School asks an audience of first through fourth graders.

“What act of peace did you do yesterday?”

Many, many hands fly up into the air.

“I helped my mommy do the dishes.”

“I was nice to my little brother.”

“I sang a song.”

On September 21, 2010, students of the Casady School in Oklahoma City went to school, excited!  They had been working on making beautiful pinwheels for several weeks, working hard, thinking deeply, what message of peace they were going to present on their respective pinwheels.  Seniors made a huge pinwheel, representing the four elements: earth, water, air, fire; a real joint effort between the art students and engineering endeavors to have a mechanism to rotate the immense pinwheel.  Middle school students and lower school equally involved with creating pinwheels and messages of peace.  Pinwheels made of cans to recycle objects, and sweet little pinwheels made by the kindergartners; all spinning round and around by the lake at the center of the Casady campus.  

This beautiful event was born our of the desire of the Casady School community that wanted this to be a wonderful opportunity to engage the Casady’s 1,000 students to think about and be a participant in creating peace, on the UN International Day of Peace.  Spearheading the event was Director of Service Learning, Carmen Clay who organized a marvelous day.

The Foundation was invited to meet the students, share time with the faculty, admire the works representing peace from all age groups, and to address groups of children on what peace meant to them.  The school welcomed the Foundation with ALL of the students be wearing the “Six Billion Paths to Peace” t-shirt.  

The Casady school is committed to instill the values of peace and service into their community and it is inspiring to walk down the halls of the schools, and notice many walls decorated with images of students’ interpretations of peace. One portrait in the lower school was of a fish in water with a message: “Peace is keeping the fish tank blue.” Another shows in the large, creative handwriting of a six or seven-year-old, “Peace is wisdom.”

Haru Inouye, addressed the Upper Level student during their morning chapel and told them, “Today is the International Day of Peace.  That’s why I’m here to talk to you, because you are the leaders of tomorrow.  You hold… in the palms of your hands… the future of the world. The future of Peace.”

Former Shinnyo Fellows, Sara Mizer, Audrey Lin, and Gordon Greaves, along with Courtney Alpeter from the Blake School all addressed groups of students to speak about their own personal experiences in implementing the Six Billion Paths to Peace initiative.

Headmaster Chris Bright and Father Blizzard reminded all the students of the importance of harmony in their lives.

All throughout the day, peace rippled across the school campus. Students and staff donned the Shinnyo-en Foundation’s Six Billion Paths to Peace t-shirts as a symbol of each individual’s potential to reverberate wide ripples of peace. Pinwheels for Peace spun in the breeze. Students gathered in assemblies throughout the day to listen to stories and interpretations of the foundation’s Six Billion Paths to Peace Initiative. With all these stories and talk of peace among youth, everyone was smiling.

We live in an interconnected world, and the countless ripples from this day have yet to unfold.For more photos from Casady