Peace Day at Leif Ericson Day School

October 5, 2011 Denise Romano
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The International Day of Peace on September 21 was celebrated bythe students at Leif Ericson Day School in Dyker Heights as a dayof respect, love and non-violence.

We wanted to make our culture of peace more pronounced, wewanted to make it a public event, explained Rita Pihra-Majurinen,the music director at the school who co-coordinated the event. Wehave to take our culture to heart and put it to practice in and outof the school. Our kids are global citizens and the world needs toget a lot better.

The International Day of Peace was founded by the United Nationsin 1988. It was originally supposed to be a day of cease fire, buthas turned into an event celebrated across the event promotingrespect for others and non-violence. This is the sixth year theLeif Ericson Day School has held a Peace Day event.

We have to use prayer to promote peace, said principalChristine Hauge, adding that students will be reminded of Peace Dayon the 21st of each month for the rest of the school year. We haveto take this pledge of non-violence outside of the building – thatis the challenge.

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All students, in pre-school through eighth grade, made their owncolorful pinwheel and planted it in the school’s front garden.Three million children all over the world did the same thing on the21st as an act of solidarity.

In addition, in a small ceremony, students and teachers reciteda peace pledge promising to do things that seem to be forgottenin today’s world. These include respecting nature and theenvironment; being friends to others; communicating better; beingkind and helpful; solving problems peacefully; listening carefully;being non-judging and non-violent; apologizing and keeping fromholding grudges; and considering others’ needs.

We have to respect one another not only in school, butoutside, said Miss McCarthy, who teaches eighth grade. Indifficult situations, sometimes it’s hard to be respectful.

One of her students, Robert Santa, said that Peace Day meansthat we Have to be peaceful and respectful.

His classmate, Nick Kanakis, added, It’s about being a goodperson.

Pre-school teacher Kayla Walsh explained to her students thatPeace Day is about what God wants us to do for others. It’s thebeginning of the year, so it’s a good time for this, she said.They are still learning how to make friends and be kind.

One of her students, Theodora D’Amelio, said that Peace Day toher is, Loving my mommy and daddy.

When the Home Reporter asked her classmate, Luca Longo what itmeant to him, he simply flashed the peace sign.

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