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International Peace Day: The View from Daley Plaza

The school community took one of its guiding principles out for a walk today. The students, teachers and many parents boarded the red line elevated train for Daley Plaza where we lifted our signs and waved our flags for peace on Earth.

International Peace Day is a celebration of humanity’s wish to live free of conflict and free of the devastation and deprivation caused by war. The United Nations sponsors this day, and it is celebrated all over the world. The celebration in Chicago was attended by consulates and diplomats from many of the 200+ nations of the world.  

Our students understand the concept of peace because it is one of the Quaker principles that we practice, and it guides how we have built our school. The students know that peace in our homes, our blocks, our classrooms and our minds has an impact on the way we feel and act. This celebration showed them that there are like minded people in the world, seeking like minded goals. As children we focus on peace where it intersects with our lives. As we grow, we can reach out to apply that concept to broader goals.

We chanted for peace in Afghanistan and peace in Zimbabwe. We chanted for all the nations in between. Students with a cultural attachment to a particular nation had the opportunity to be flag bearers. We represented Togo, Ghana, Poland, Bulgaria, The Netherlands, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and others.

I feared that the day would be an adult affair, inaccessible to some of our students. That was not the case. The cause of peace, and the common cause we found with a community of people who brought their passion to the day, was easy to feel for all of our students.

Alex Randhava

is our grade 5-6 teacher. Alex has a degree in history from Kenyon College and a master’s in education from National Louis University. He taught reading, social studies, and language arts in Evanston's public schools and history at Francis W. Parker School. He created and taught courses in physics, chemistry, and engineering to middle school students at Northwestern University’s Center for Talent Development. Alex also has a learning and behavior specialist certification and has worked as a one-on-one instructor with students who have cognitive or learning disabilities.
Before earning his degree in education, Alex worked in the development of engineering startups. He holds two U.S. patents and has received grants to fund design-phase engineering work from the USDA and NASA.

Alex has two children, ages 7 and 10. In spring and summer, he pursues his (other) true passion as their little league coach.