Celebrating Earth Day with World Harmony Runners

Our Earth Day celebration at Oneness-Family School is a tradition that’s 23 years old. Our entire school community will gather to express appreciation for the Earth. Joining us this year will be the World Harmony Run, an international team of runners beginning a 50-state torch relay. Students will perform and express their efforts to become good stewards of the planet. They will dance, perform skits and sing songs like “Rocky Mountain“ and “We are the World “celebrating a harmonious, peaceful Mother Earth. I will strum my guitar to “Big Yellow Taxi” by Joni Mitchell as the children join me in singing the chorus.

The early years of Earth Day at Oneness-Family School

A Children's Peace Garden student (aged 3-5) shares a song with me on Earth Day in the early 90s.

A fundamental part of my vision in founding Oneness-Family School was to establish a community that advocates for environmental awareness, based in the Washington DC area.  We’ve developed programs designed for young students to take action and promote ecological stewardship. Our school curriculum teaches the students to have a global perspective, to see the world as one family and to see themselves as stewards of the planet.  We foster empathy, big picture synthesis and creative thinking – aptitudes that will be integral to moving toward a sustainable future.

Maria Montessori was one of the first truly global thinkers of the twentieth century and has influenced me greatly.  She believed that the entire human family was on a path of evolution toward greater harmony and unity, where we could all celebrate our unique gifts and share the planet’s resources. Montessori believed that educating children about the planet we have inherited and about their role as caretakers of the planet was of paramount importance.  She said, “the children around us are the adults of the future who will ultimately decide the fate of our planet. Let us give the children a vision of the whole universe for all things are connected to form one whole unity.”

At Oneness-Family School, we celebrate Earth Day because we have all inherited one planet.  We all live in the same home.  Earth Day is an opportunity for us to reflect on this wonderful privilege and awesome responsibility.  It is also provides an occasion for us to pause and feel gratitude for all the blessings of being alive that we share.

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