Archive for May 2011

June – Looking Forward to A Peaceful Summer!

May 30, 2011

        JUNE is the sixth month of the year. It was the fourth month in the Roman calendar and had only 29  days. The Romans named it after Juno the goddess of marriage and so June is known as the wedding month.

Flower:  Rose; Birthstone – Pearl, Alexandrite and Moonstone.

MONTH : It is the National month of dairy and dairy products, established in 1937 as a tribute to American dairy producers.  (POSTED IN NEWS AND EVENTS)

Activities : 1 Children can bring pictures of dairy products they like and glue them on scrap books or Bulletin boards. 2. Draw and color dairy products and write down special information about each picture.

National Iced Tea Month: Tea is exportd from tea producing countries packeted in loose form or in Tea bags. Did you know that? Tea is one of the healthiest of beverages. It began as a medicine and grew into a beverage. A packet of tea has many healthy ingredients. (1) It is rich in antioxidents that helps clean the blood in the body (2)Rrecent medical research has shown that tea is good for the heart and helps reduce the initiation and progression of some cancers. (3) Tea assists the natural immune system’s response to infections.

Activity: Let children bring empty boxes of Tea and working in small groups let the children read the information in the boxes where the tea is from and discucuss countries where tea is grown and locate them on the world map.

National Pest Control Month:   Activity 1. Let children identify different kinds of pests, household pests, yard pests and insects that are considered pests. 2. Learn about biological control of pests. 3. Discuss how we could control pests in the neighborhood and around the school.

National Rose Month:  Just as the carnation became a symbol for Mother’s Day rose was suggested by Sonora Dodd in her 1910 petition to the Spokane Ministerial Association. “It would be appropriate,”  she thought, “if people wore a white rose in remembrance of a father who had died and a red rose as a tribute to a living father.” (Read more about Sonora Dodd in Father’s Day)

WEEK1st week; Teacher Thank You Week: A great week to help instill and promote thoughts about thankfulness, appreciation, gratitude, generosity and other behaviour patterns that help charcter building in children for a peaceful society.

DAYJune 2nd Martha Washington’s birthday (1731-1802) Martha Dandredge Curtis Washington the wife of George Washington was born in new Kent County, Virginia. She became the first First Lady. Compare the present First Lady with the first First Lady.

June 6th : D-Day Anniversary (1944) D-Day is a term for secret fate on which a military operation is to begin.  June 6th 1944 is the most famous D-Day. It was on this day during Worls War II when British and American troops landed in Normandy France which was at the time occupied by Germany.

Activity: Find out ….. Who was the president of the United States at that time? Who led the American troops? Who was the leader of Germany at the time?

June 9th: Donald Duck’s birthday. Donald Duck first appeared in a short cartoon in 1934. Activity:  1. What are the names of Donald’s uncle and his nephews? take a vote; Who is your favorite? Donad Duck or Mickey Mouse? 2. Read the following books about ducks The Story About Ping(Kurt Wiese) Make Way for Ducklings (Robert McCloskey’s 1942 caldecott Award book) Happy Birthday Dear Duck (Eve Bunting) Have You Seen My Ducklings? (Nancy Tafuri)

June 14th: National Flag Day. national Flag Day was proclaimed on May 30th 1916 for this date. Betsy Ross a seamstress is credited with making the first American flag from a design given to her by a committee headed by George Washington.

Activity: 1. What does the National Flag and its colors signify? Discuss 2. As a multicultural society what ingredients of peace building can we reflect upon as we take a look at the National Flag of the United States?

3rd Sunday in June: Father’s Day: The idea of setting aside a day for father’s was partially inspired by the success of Mother’s day established in 1914. Sonora Smart Dodd from Spokane, Washington listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in church decided to do the same for her father who raised up six children without a mother who had died. She suggested the 3rd Sunday in June and urged people to wear a rose on the day in honor of their fathers. Dodd tried to promote it by setting up a committe and getting political endorsements. The fervor however soon died down. She resumed her campaign in the 1930s and was tken up by the Associated Men’s Wear Retailors of New York City. The efforts of florists,, tobacconists. stationers and men’s clothiers across the country were harnessed to promote father’s day gifts.”Give dad something to wear,” became the slogan However it ws not until president Richard Nixon signed a proclamation recommending Father’s day as as a national day of observance in 1972 that it came into effect.

June 20th:  Bald Eagle becomes official symbol of the United States.

June 21st-22nd– Summer Solstice.   Wish everyone  a Hilarious….! Bubbling with Joy….! and a Peaceful and gracious… Summer!

Here Comes Mr. Peace!

May 13, 2011

An Activity to promote a child’s Self esteem and Self worth! Peace Activities 1

What can ‘Peace’ do for you? What can you do for ‘Peace’?

May 10, 2011

                                                   Recently world news went through a ‘rock n roll,’ of breaking news from one theme to another, from one spot in the world to another that drew crowds to different kinds of jubilation. Were you part of it? Were you concerned with a tiff you had with your best friend at school, or a friend you were developing a new kind of friendship? Did you have a fight with your brother or sister at breakfast or dinner time? Got angry with somebody and was in a mood for war or any other kind of feeling bogging you down?

   Then suddenly you wished things were better. That you didn’t have to go through it after all? Did somebody help you understand or you realized things could have been worked out better without all that fuss? You begin to agree, and you feel different about the issue you were saddled with, and then you calm down and a kind of peace and relief returns to you. You begin to feel and experience peace, and peace in turn will befriend you.. You would be at ease. Frustration, worry, anxiety, fury all gone and you are at peace of mind and heart, beginning to experience the joy, the comfort and the consolations of peace. The experience like as if you are in a new luxury house, all to your self and you wish you can go out, invite and share it with others. The luxury of being at peace within and sharing it with others.

“Peace has its own victories no less renowned than war,” wrote John Milton the great English poet to Oliver Cromwell, a great political and military leader of England at a time when England was torn with Civil War and strife.

Peace in our own times through song and music. In our own day victory of peace over war seems to be gaining ground slow and steady with the end of terrorist regimes in many parts of the world. The Vietnam war and its aftermath saw many song writers and composers of lyrics such as the ‘Beatles,’ filling Albums with ‘Peace Songs.’ anti-war and non-violence songs. ‘Give Peace a Chance,’ sang John Lennon and his group. ‘Peace,’ resonated as Cat Stevens sang. :I’ve been smiling lately, dreaming about the world to come; and I believe it could be, some day its going to come. Cause out in the edge of darkness, there rides a peace train; Oh Peace Train take this country; Come take me home again.”

  Limelighters got many in their Album Until we get it Right. “Come the Day,” performed by the Seekers, Songs of Pete Seeger, Olivia Newton-John in her Album Gala, “A Thousand years of Peace,” by Alchemy VII available in the Albums The Magick and White Raven. Inspiratinal songs of Gina Citoli in Mama Earth and many others are heart warming songs singing and spreading the message of peace, vocally and rhythmically in song and music. Many of these are available noe On-line, and downloadable on MP3s, Cell Phones,I-Phones and others.

   Peace Building through Organizations, Institutions and Activist Movements.  Since World War II numerous organizations and movements have sprung up round the globe dedicated towards promoting peace. Peace building through non-violence, Conflict-resolution, peace education programs, Course studies in Colleges, Universities and academic Institutions are getting popular. Spreading literature on ways to foster harmonious and peaceful relationships among different religious and ethnic groups and communites and promoting active participation in programs at community, neighborhood, local and global levels have gone a long way to spread the message round the world.

   Instituting the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1901 gave the world exemplary individuals who by their untiring efforts, dedication and indomitable courage, have established landmarks for peace; shown others the way to make this world a better place to live in by their extraorrdinary and admirable tasks often undertaken.

What can you do to spread Peace?  ‘Peace,’ like ‘Love,’ is something you never out grow.Once you have a taste of peace, you will learn to cherish it all the more, talk about it and share it with others.. Are you a volunteer engaged in activities with children? A Care giver, Community leader, peace maker involved in Community programs to foster better relationships? Here are some thoughts to reflect upon and work on to build up and manipulate your own way of reaching out to peace building at the grass roots level of children.

  let’s break down the word Peace into its component letters. You have ‘P’ as in ‘people,’ ‘E’ as in ‘enjoy,’ “A” as in the article “a’ “C’ as in ‘choice,’ and “E,” as in ‘end.’ People enjoy a choice end.  This indeed would amount to a choice piece of cake that the child in us all would enjoy in the end. It is like a story with a happy ending. What are the ingredients essential for making the “Peace Cake.”? These include ingredients such as, Unity, Co-operation, responsibility, generosity, Kindness, Flexiblity, Sobriety and more.

   Stories appeal to the mind and imagination of young children. At a very young age their minds are like sponges that absorb these ingredients, necessary for the process of peace building in a fruitful and profitable manner.

  My book Titled, Peace Tales from Asia  – Building a Culture of Peace,  is a collection of stories retold, selected  to emphasize and illustrate the meaning and application of the above ingredients. Written in a lucid and engaging style children will have fun and enjoy reading and listening to them. Notes at the end of the book contain valuable suggestions for classroom and group activities.

 watch out for peace building exercises, activities, puzzles, stories, poems and inspirationals and others i will be publishing in this blog to be used together with the book. Available from the publishers at http://sbpra.com/Chandraniwarnasuriya  or at www.amazon.com or www.barnesandnoble.com

May – A Month to Celebrate with Flowers

May 4, 2011

                                            Well  into the Spring May has several important days to celebrate, for all peace loving people. Celebrations to count on, reflect an meditate upon   their significance, importance and relevance to promote peace round the world.

     MAY 1st  also called May Day carries with it the custom of exchanging and giving gifts of May Baskets. Filled with flowers these baskets are a beautiful way to show love, appreciation gratitude, caring, friendliness etc. for one another. Kindling these sentiments within oneself and help stimulate and ignite them in others with words of prose or verse added would activate and disseminate peaceful thoughts and lead to the growth of peace loving individuals. However little a gesture may be it sometimes does trigger and start great changes.

     “Liitle drops of water, little grains of sand, makes the mighty ocean and the great big land…..”  so goes an English Lullaby

  Did you know that? Flowers in addition to their scent and honey that attract bees, they carry spirits and fairies that inhabit them invisibly. They have a wholesome effect with the sentiments they carry. Have you heard of the story of St. Therese of Liseux associated with the rose? The white Lilly, Ponsietta, the marigold and others in the west. The peony, mulberry, plum bloosom,narcissus, the Lotus associated in Oriental Cultures? Read “Spooky Tales from the Orient,”  for stories on ‘The spirit of the peony,’ (Japan) ‘Princess Pepperina (India),’ ‘The Flower Princesses, Na, Mi and the Blue Lotus,’ (Sri Lanka) and more. http://www.funchildsbooks.com/books.html

May 5th   has many celebrations to its credit. Cinco de Mayo,  a day of celebration to the Mexican people, recalling their culture and heritage and their victory over the French armies in 1861. Mexicans have faced many challenges and faced many battles on their way to freedom.Several Mexican folktales relate valuable thoughts on living peacefully, satisfied with your own gifts in life For example the story of the ‘Unwise Rattle snake,’  from Mexico.

US National Day of Prayer  America has constantly drawn its strength and vitality from the founding fathers of the Constitution. These men undoubtedly drew their own strength from their traditinal Christian beliefs in God and His answer to prayer. The 1st Thurday in May has been made sacred as a Day of Prayer in many states. “More things are wrought by prayer, than this world could dream of,” said Alfred Lord Tennyson.

It is also Japan’s Children’s Day. Celebrated largely with glamorously dressed dolls, much like “barbies,’known to American children, Japan’s children’s day celebrations are unique as parents,celebrate the day with traditional foods, new clothes and a special trip to Kami shrines. In 2011 however children’s day opens on a dark note of the earthquake and Tsunami and the over whelming fear of children being exposed to nuclear radiation from the destroyed Fukushima Diacchi Nuclear Plant.

May 13th Mother’s Day  This celebration held generally on the 2nd Sunday in May was made possible by the efforts of Anna Jarvis, who was born in Grafton Virginia. Jarvis’s mother was a model of domestic nurturing and caring. She lived through many tragedies including the death of seven of her eleven children, but she never lost  her faith in God. Anna Jarvis’s efforts to honor her mother eventually spread throughout America and today it is one of the most popular celebrations in the country.

  As specific flowers are used to express complex emotions such as sorrow, remebrance, hope, faith love, longing etc. Anna chose the Carnation for Mother’s Day as it was the favorite flower of her mother. Corsages, bouquets, potted plants and wreathes mixed with carnations are among the many features of gifts on Mother’s day.

May 8th This is  V-E Day celebrating the end of World War II

May 5th Vesakh (Buddha Day)  This is a holy day for Buddhists round the world. The festival of Vesakh recalls and commemorates the birth, death and enlightenment of the Buddha, 563 b.c.e. the founder of Buddhism Together with the other great founders of religions Buddha’s teachings on peace and the importance of building peaceful relationships with one another in society are remarkably stated in Buddha’s sayings in the ‘Dhammapada.’ Buddha’s teachings on the Four great Sublime Virtues Metta (loving kindness), Karuna (compassion) Muditha (sympathetic joy) and Upekkha (equanimity) are model for harmonious living in society. Many stories based on the Jataka Tales (stories on the previous lives of the Buddha) have been written exponding his virtuous life. “The Quarrel of the Quails.”  “A Monkey Saves his Troup,” illustrate some of the essentials for peace building.  These are retold in the Collection, “Peace Tales from Asia – Building a Culture of Peace.” Visit http:://www.funchildsbooks.com/books.html  May 30th Memorial Day   Posted in News and Events