Friday, May 31, 2013

June 13, 2013 began the 100 days count down to the International Day of Peace (IDP), observed annually on 21 September.   IDP is dedicated to peace, and specifically the absence of war and violence, such as might be occasioned by a temporary ceasefire in a combat zone for humanitarian aid access.

In 1981, The United Nations General Assembly declared, in a resolution sponsored by the United Kingdom and Costa Rica,[2] the International Day of Peace, to be devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace.[3] The date initially chosen was the regular opening day of the annual sessions of the General Assembly, the third Tuesday of September. This was changed in 2001 to the current annual celebration on 21 September each year. The day was first celebrated in 1982.

To inaugurate the day, the "Peace Bell" is rung at UN Headquarters (in New York City). The bell is cast from coins donated by children from all continents except Africa, and was a gift from the United Nations Association of Japan, as "a reminder of the human cost of war"; the inscription on its side reads, "Long live absolute world peace".[1]
Individuals can also wear White Peace Doves to commemorate the International Day of Peace, which are badges in the shape of a dove produced by a non-profit organization in Canada

In 2001 the opening day of the General Assembly was scheduled for 11 September, and Secretary General Kofi Annan drafted a message recognizing the observance of International Peace Day on 11 September.[5] That year the day was changed from the third Tuesday to specifically the twenty-first day of September, to take effect in 2002. A new resolution was passed by the General Assembly,[2] sponsored by the United Kingdom (giving credit to Peace One Day) and Costa Rica (the original sponsors of the day), to give the International Day of Peace a fixed calendar date, 21 September, and declare it also as a day of global ceasefire and non-violence


Casady Middle Division, Peace Day 2011
In 2011, Peace One Day announced at their O2 Arena concert, a new international campaign called Global Truce 2012, a grassroots initiative and international coalition with non-governmental organizations and student unions in every continent, which increased participation and action on Peace Day 2012, the day of Global Truce. Particular focus in this campaign including a cessation of hostilities on the day, is the reduction of domestic violence and bullying in society. The Peace One Day Celebration concert on Peace Day in 2012 was held at Wembley Arena to celebrate Global Truce 2012.[15] The Global Truce campaign continues aiming to involve more partners and coalitions for mass participation and life-saving practical action on Peace Day. 
Excerpts from:


Casady Lower Division 2012
Peace One Day Global Truce Campaign called for a reduction of domestic violence.
Through detailed analysis conducted with the support of McKinsey & Company, the Peace One Day 2012 report found that, across the world, 280 million people in 198 countries were aware of Peace Day 2012 – 4% of the world’s population. The report further estimates that approximately 2% of those people (5.6 million) behaved more peacefully as a result. Peace One Day expects to double those figures for 2013, creating a solid foundation for informing 3 billion people about Peace Day by 2016.

The achievements of Peace One Day’s work in 2012 have not only set an important marker for Peace Day 2013 and future Peace Days, but have also reinforced the value of this unique annual day as a foundation for long-term sustainable peace.
Peace Day 2012 Summary Report
Peace Day 2012 @ Oklahoma City
Contributed by Joan Korenblit, Respect Diversity Foundation and Carmen Clay, Casady School
On September 21, 2012, International Day of Peace, students throughout Oklahoma City participated in a variety of activities that culminated at the annual Oklahoma City University Multicultural Festival and a1,000 Pinwheels for Peace Garden sponsored by a diverse group of Oklahoma artists, educators, the Respect Diversity Foundation, and the Friends of the United Nations of Greater Oklahoma.
Students from Dove Academy at Oklahoma City University learned from activities facilitated by festival chairs, Mikel Ibarra, Joan Korenblit, and Japan America Society education coordinator Dr. Gigi Hu. After viewing and reflecting a short trailer on “Peace One Day” and “On a Paper Crane, Tomoko’s Adventure,” students made origami cranes for peace and wrote Haiku poetry. Before planting pinwheels made at their school, they walked through a peace labyrinth, learning about the importance of quiet meditation from Labyrinths in Oklahoma writer Gail Peck.
5pm on 9/21/2012, a dozen co-sponsoring organizations and a large drumming circle welcomed hundreds of participants to the Multicultural Festival. Participants in Shinnyo-en Foundation’s Six Billion Paths to Peace T-shirts enjoyed artists from a variety of ethnic traditions.

The grand finale was a dance of peace with audience participation. Said author Michael Allen, “This festival and the many activities during the eleven days of unity, 9/11-9/21, happened because people of diverse cultures worked together and decided that we CAN make this a more peaceful world.”
From creating pinwheels for peace encouraging a global truce on violence, to participating in service-learning projects, thousands of Oklahoma students were immersed in dialog and action of a shared sustainable culture of peace, economic justice, and environmental stewardship from 9/11-9/21!
Oklahoma Centennial High School observed the shift from “I” to “WE” with curricular connections. “It was challenging and rewarding to collaborate with core teachers and administrators. My students created peace key chains, because they are the key to change, a “new green” cleaning product, and are currently finalizing their service-learning project reflection on how to make a real difference and impact the world in which they live” said Career and Technology instructor, Carrie Renfro.
Kindergarteners at Mercy School enjoyed a diversity story-teller and discussed what they learned. “We’re all different, just like the crayons in the story, and we’re all important!” exclaimed five year old Mohamed.
At Piedmont Middle School and Western Oaks Elementary School, students learned about the impact of choosing a path of kindness over bullying. Piedmont Art teacher Frances Williams explained, “From their discussion, it was obvious that this unit had a great impact on our students!” “This conversation is making an important difference; it will continue,” stated Western Oaks art teacher Staci Craven.
Click here to see the slide show of Oklahoma’s peace activities.
From K-12th grade, Casady students pledged their commitment to SEE PEACE in acts of kindness, service, and non-violence.Older students also viewed the video by Jeremy Gilley, PEACE ONE DAY before pinwheel making. Carmen Clay, Service-Learning Director, stated, “Students realized that this day is working because it is saving lives and creating a desire for intentionally kinder communities and a self-patrolling non-violent way of life.” Anne Josette Hill, Casady freshman, commented, “I personally befriended a former rival over a pile of half finished pinwheels.”  Primary Division Director, Mrs. Jane Sharp stated, “Dr. Montessori said, ” “Averting war is the work of politicians; establishing peace is the work of education.” ” Every day our teachers are involved with this important work of peace by showing grace and courtesy to each other and to the children so that they may then show peace to others. We will be celebrating this important date every year with our youngest students here at Casady.” 


Who Will You Make Peace With?

Peace Day 21 September 2013
Following the incredible success of the Global Truce 2012 campaign, Peace One Day has launched a new theme for 2013: Who Will You Make Peace With?

Peace starts with individual action, and your actions inspire others to do the same. Peace Day 21 September 2013 is a Saturday; it really is an opportunity for all of us to become engaged in the peace process with our families, friends and communities.

By working together and making peace with each other we can improve the quality of our lives. Peace Day is not just about a reduction of violence in areas of conflict, it's also about reducing violence in our homes, communities and schools.

So who will you make peace with? Who will you bring together on Peace Day 21st of September 2013?

Here's what you can do:
1. Raise awareness of Peace Day
2. Take action on Saturday, 21 September 2013
For ideas and resources to help raise awareness of Peace Day and getting involved in the campaign visit the Take Action page.

Casady Lower Division, Peace Day 2009
Casady Service-Learning and interested YAC and Casady OKC Youth LEADERS share a common goal stated by the Casady Primary Division in 2013: Global Peace Begins in the classroom.  

The Casady Service-Learning Program will promote screenings of the Peace One Day film.  Provide resources for pinwheels for peace to be created at all divisions to be planted around campus and at OCU's Giant Peace One Day Labyrinth on 9/20,  (Goal for Casady 1,000 reflective pinwheels: Inner and Global Peace).

Casady Lower Division Peace Day 2011

Casady Service-Learning Program started to share the Peace Pals Exhibit at after school programs and elderly facilities in June. 

It also started brainstorming observation of We the World, 11 Days of Unity in foreign language classrooms as part of it Peace Stone Soup Project.  In the month of August, Casady YAC will organize a service day for Casady and OKC on Saturday 9/21/2013.

Adults and youth IDP organizers needed.  Contact Carmen Clay at; 405-520-1325.  Organizing meetings will start in August at the new Service-Learning Office, Casady Wing at a time TBA by Casady Teen co-chairs heading the Peace One Day Project. 

July 21-July 27 Tornado Relief Teen Team (Casady School, Youth LEAD OKC, Kent School in Connecticut, and New York Teens from YMCA):  Megan Sokolnicki'95, Director of Community Service at Kent School in CT, a co-ed boarding high school in Connecticut will be in OKC July 21-28, 2013 with a small group of students to volunteer through Habitat helping the tornado relief effort in Moore. 

Sidney Jones'14 Casady YAC Junior Chair ,  Mrs. Carmen Clay, Director of Service Leaning and Mrs. Shannon Presti, Youth LEAD OKC CEO and Director of YMCA Teen initiatives are helping recruit Casady, Youth LEAD OKC, and NY City YMCA Teens to volunteer with the Ken Teens.   If interested contact: Mrs. Carmen Clay at, 405-520-1325.  Must be 16 years old to serve onsite with Habitat.

Black Light Dance Party @Mitch Park Amphitheater
 Friday, May 31, 5:30 PM, $10 admission  Postponed due to weather: Caitlin Costello, a sophomore in the Upper Division presently holds the state title of Miss Teen Oklahoma United States. She will be traveling to Washington D.C. July 2-9 to compete for the national title and will appear in the 4th of July parade on Capitol Hill.   With an enthusiastic approval from the Edmond City Council, Caitlin will be co-hosting a Black Light Dance Party and D.J. battle to be held on Friday, May 31st at the Mitch Park Amphitheater behind the MAC in Edmond to benefit Project ANTI-BULLY,  a global organization working to educate young people about bullying and help the Moore Tornado Relief.  The address for Mitch Park is 2733 Marilyn Williams Dr. Edmond, Ok, 73003. 

Kylie Morgan will be performing live her music video  It is about a real person, Phoebe, a 15 year old student in Massachusetts who hung herself in January of 2010 because of relentless bullying. Kylie will be signing autographs along with Caitlin,  Caitlin's older sister, Anna-Marie (Miss Oklahoma United States) and Page Fredericks.


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Thursday, May 30, 2013

YAC Begins New Decade

The Class of 2013 marks the end of the first 10 years of implementation of the requirement for graduation (Class of 2004-2013) and expands YAC's role as an advisor and facilitator of service opportunities.  In the year 2013-2014, YAC will LEAD (Leaders Engaging Across Differences) school wide projects honoring the Points of Light Foundation National Service Days . 

YAC's History

From 2000-2004, an intergenerational Service-Learning Committee advised the director about the creation of the process and documentation for ONLY direct service, away from the Casady campus credit.

From 2005-2010, YAC became an action council. YAC started introducing service-learning to teachers, became proposal and reflection audience for student's certification of hours and co-facilitated site visits resulting from freshman class service-learning Fridays sessions.   Direct, indirect, research, and volunteerism on campus and in the greater Oklahoma City community received credit. Inclusion of all division started with a competition during Students Against Hunger -Casady Cans Do Food Drive.  The Pinwheels for Peace project,a collaborative effort between the service-learning program and the 4th grade class, expanded to include all divisions of the school.

From 2011-2013, YAC became a service connection to STUCO, faculty, coaches, and students initiatives.  YAC lost its connection to reflection and co-facilitation of freshmen orientation to service-learning because proposals and reflection were no longer required and changes in schedule did not allow service learning Friday sessions for freshmen anymore.  YAC supported existing projects as well as inspired YAC members to create new ones. 

In 2011 and 2012, YAC members Salman Hamid, Jessica Greene and Sidney Jones started brainstorming a possible Youth LEAD online chapter @ Casady School.  LEAD stands for Leaders Engaging Across Differences.

Youth LEAD online advocates for service of any kind that is filled with heart and hard work. We have so many bodies on this planet and so much to do that in some ways I say – “Just do it”. Just get out there and get started and make the world a better place.  However – there are some problems that we just can’t seem to fix, no matter how hard we work. Those issues always seem to stem from the things that are most important to us, the pieces of our identity: race, religion, ethnicity, gender, ability and sexual orientation. When it comes to the pieces of our world that are connected to our identity, our fears, our mistrusts and the ways in which we are polarized get in the way. Elbow grease just is not enough. We need to find a different way to serve.  For Youth LEAD service has three parts:
 The first is Reflection. Who are we? what do we believe? what baggage and what narratives do we bring with us from our lives and the lives of our families? How do these pieces of our identity form us and inform us? This part is really important because unless we know who we are, where we come from and how that supports and challenges the work we do in the world, it is hard for us to move on from here.
The second part is connection. We need the skills to be able to connect with others who hold very different beliefs than us. Whose stories and experiences give us a very different perspective on the world? If we only surround ourselves with people who look like us, think like us and operate like us we never see the whole picture. We are always missing pieces that are essential as we try to repair the world.
The third is Action. While the first two parts are critical, until all our reflecting and connecting translates into action – it will never get us where we need to go. This Action however needs to be intentional. We need to ask deep questions about what is and is not working and think creatively about why and how to fix it. WE need to take all the information learned in parts one and two and draft it into organized, intentional work. Projects that have a clear vision, committee work that honors product and process, meetings that are focused and where all voices are heard and allowed.   It is our belief that if all three of these parts are in place, our service takes on a whole new level of excellence and we can begin to repair the way we communicate with each other and the way we serve the world.  From Tabitha May-Tolub, Chapel Speech.

In 2012, the YMCA-OKC, the Casady Service-Learning Program, the Respect Diversity Foundation, CAIR, and Mercy School joined hands to bring the Youth LEAD online program to Oklahoma City under the umbrella of the YMCA. Founding teen member and Casady student, Sidney Jones attended her first TIDE (Teens Identity and Diversity Education) conference and recommended the program as needed in our communities. 

Youth LEAD OKC had its first training in Communication and Project Management during National Volunteer Week 2013 from Youth LEAD online Program Director, Tabitha May-Tolub.  Youth LEAD OKC has officially 29 members.  5 adult mentors and the rest are OKC teens from 11 high schools.  Casady Youth LEADERS are:   Sidney J*., Carleigh B*., Gavin C*., Hunter S*., Jack B*., Maggie A*., Yogaish K. Agnish Ch*., Natasha S*, Anaya B. (YAC Member*)

In 2013, Sidney Jones attended her second TIDE Conference and her reflection inspired a new decade for YAC.  In this new decade, YAC will not just co-facilitate, but rather LEAD school wide projects following the Points of Lights Foundation Calendar of National Days of Service. 

YAC will continue to support student and faculty project initiatives, but in addition, YAC Youth LEAD OKC teens will enhance their LEAD skills during Casady YAC meetings. 

The new Casady YAC LEADS Blog address is

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Summer Volunteer Opportunities and YAC @ TIDE Conference

The Teenage Identity and Diversity Education Conference
May 24-26, 2013
TIDE (Teen Identity and Diversity Education) Conference, Wave of Change seeks to bring global perspective to teens of all identities.  The conference is planned and facilitated by teens of Youth LEAD, Sharon, a program founded upon the notion of developing understanding of diversity through dialog, not debate. 

Teens from Sharon planned the 2013 Conference divided into teams with specific goals. 

The recruitment team brought participants from Mass, Rhode Island, Maine, New York, Arizona, California, Texas and Oklahoma. 

The logistics team developed the conference schedule, hired two awesome people for Saturday night's program and finalized the food and accomodations details with staff from Stonehill College. 

The facilitation team met every week since the winter to develop the Saturday workshops to have conversations about how participants can transform fear and misunderstanding in their communities.

The TIDE Experience 

In 2013 participants were divided into family groups, named after sea creatures.  The family groups aimed to promote relationship building, reflection, and took care of logistics and safety.

Friday activities aimed to unite and create a safe environment through ice breakers.  In 2013, the big icebreaker was a combination Holi and Capture the Flag, Hunger Games style.

On Saturday, teen facilitators from Sharon provide a full day of workshops.  In 2013, the workshops aimed to introduce  Youth LEAD's theory of change which is  to "transform fear, mistrust and polarization into social cohesion and collaborative problem-solving by inspiring and mobilizing youth leaders to reflect upon their beliefs, connect with others across difference, and act together to address local and global change.

Workshop 1: Reflect: Safe place and individual connections to the theory of change and feel comfortable voicing opinions on identity and personal fears. 

Workshop 2: Connect: Better listening skills using clarifying questions and other Youth LEAD core skills.  Additionally, participants learned what makes these skills difficult and useful.

Workshop 3: Act: Usage of skills learned to help eliminate personal fears with social cohesion

Workshop 4: Creating Change: Move participants to action.  Think about how to use these skills in their work to transform their own communities in affinity groups.

After a day of workshops, Marc Wayshak was the motivational speaker. Author of "Breaking all Barriers" shared a message of personal empowerment and self-responsibility. 

Then, participants were energized with traditional Mande music and dance by Joh Camara, dancer, choreographer and drummer.

Saturday evening after the family groups met, there was an incredible display of talent at an Open Mic event where participants shared their passion for music, poetry, and story telling.

On Sunday, participants attended workshops facilitated by Sharon teens and teens from all over the country. 

Youth LEAD OKC Mentors:
Carmen's workshops: Different People, one boat; How to combat teen bullying, Maddening Mentor Moments and We Love them
Geri's workshops: Different People, one boat; Maddening Mentor Moments and We Love them
Shannon's workshops: Overcoming Religious stereotypes and prejudices, How to combat teen bullying; Maddening Mentor Moments and We Love them

Youth LEAD OKC Teens
Andrew's workshops: Yoga and Meditation
Sidney's workshops: Gendercide, Behind Body Language
Su's workshops: Gendercide, Prejudices,


Evaluation:  The logistic team needs to consider asking Sodexo to bring more variety of foods.  If the cost is not prohibiting, cleaning of the bathrooms and clean towels could make the experience flawless.

Youth LEAD OKC Teens Thoughts: Forthcoming!!!

Saturday, May 11, 2013


Senior chairs, Rebeka D. and Caitlin H. hosted the delivery of Presidential Awards to students at Upper Division Chapel on May 9th 2013.

The President’s Volunteer Service Award is a national honor offered in recognition of volunteer service. Award eligibility for individuals and groups is based on hour requirements varying by age.  The Award is issued by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation. Students received pins at chapel and picked-up certificates and congratulatory letter from the President of the United States from Woods Community Center where thank you goodie bags awaited them @ at Icee Celebration for Award winners and teacher for Teacher Appreciation Week hosted by Sophomore YAC Chair, Sindi Peza. 

 Mr. Christopher Bright, Casady's Headmaster delivered the goal pin to students who have performed a minimum of  250 hours of service age 15 or older or 100 hours age 14 or younger

GOLD: Joseph Michael Bonfiglio, Judy Hassoun, Shaan Patel, Julian Thomason, Abigail Utz

Mr. Brad Philipson delivered the silver pins to students who have performed a minimum of  175  hours age 15 or older or 75 hours ages 14 or younger

SILVER: Margaret Adair, Taylor Burrow, Amad Chohan, Emily Faulkner, Ronald Garcia, Katherine Hanstein, Maia Kaplan, Joseph Messick, Sarah Puls, Zichun Venus Zhou

 Father Charles Blizzard delivered the bronze pins to students who have performed a minimum of 100 hours age 15 or older or 50 hours ages 14 or younger

BRONZE: Carleigh Berryman, Mackenzie Blalock, Kendall Bleakley, Jack Boeh, Richard Costello, Thomas Fleming, Jessica Greene, Regan Henry, Anne Hill, Andrew Johnson, Maia Kaplan, Christine Luk, Dylan Raikar, John Robertson, Jessie Robinson, Ronda Sutor, Julian Thomason,  Megan Trachtenberg, Grace Williams, Martin Yoder (Martin was unable to be here because of AP exams)

Mrs. Carmen Clay, Community Service-Learning Director presented a special award involving service in the curriculum,

The Casady Service-Learning Program entered a national competition seeking outstanding programs integrating service in the curriculum sponsored by the Center for Spiritual and Ethical Education and was recognized with the second place plaque for "some truly fine and innovative work being done at Casady School with service integrated in the curriculum.

Academically rigorous private schools from across the nation participated.  The Center's selection committee stated, " The mission of Casady School’s service program is to cultivate well-educated individuals who are also “entrepreneurs of peace and social change.” Though students are required to serve 45 hours over their high school years, many surpass this minimum, finding motivation in diverse opportunities and student-led initiatives. In addition to many faculty-led service opportunities, Casady has a student service council, YAC, that does great work collaborating with school clubs and sports teams on projects. Casady students have also developed their own award-winning service-learning experiences, like Sow Love Zambia, which has raised money to build schools in Zambia, and Students Against Destructive Decisions, which inspires students to be involved in positive endeavors. 

On the theme of integrating service with the curriculum, Casady has impressive initiatives across divisions. 

In the Upper Division, projects featured in the application as great examples of service in the curriculum were:   

Blue Thumb Project, Mr. Mark Delgrosso, in which science students monitor water quality and affected habitat in local streams.  
K-Senior Literary Exchange, Mrs. Whitney Finley and Dr. Janet Hubble, in which seniors and kindergarten students  share authored children story books. 
Peace One Day, Dr. Carlos Torres Rodriguez, Mrs. Mary Anne Cockrum, and Mrs. Joanne Jew, in which students connect language learning to the International Day of Peace, a day for wide-scale community action, and  for United Nations agencies and aid organizations to safely carry out life-saving work. 
Arts -4-Causes, Mrs. Phyllis Seitter, Mrs. Megan Thompson, Mr. Larry Moore, Mrs. Jana Heidebrecht, Mrs. Jeanmarie Nielson, Mrs. Stephanie Crossno, and Mrs. Lynn Robertson.
Metaphor Project, Dr. Bonnie Gerard, in which senior English students facilitate an interactive learning experience of metaphors for Lower Division students.

 Projects in other divisions featured in the application were:
In the Middle Division, featured projects were:
Stories of Hope: Dreams, Duty and Destiny, Mrs. Stephanie Crossno and the 8th grade team.
11 Days of Unity, International Day of Peace: Mrs. Lynn Robertson, Mrs. Shannon Semet, Mrs. Melody Hubbert, and Mrs. Sarah Zedlitz
In the Lower Division, featured projects were:
The Fair Trade Chocolate Project, Mr. Jeff Bush and the 4th Grade Team.  The CSEE committee stated, "The Fair Trade Chocolate Project in the lower school teaches students about social justice and environmental stewardship, as they sell fair-trade chocolate and donate the proceeds to charity. The project is woven into the curriculum in so many ways: graph skills in measuring sales, awareness of business concepts such as expenses, gross sales and profit, language arts skills in reading about the topic, art skills in recreating West African Adinkra symbols – art from the region where their fair-trade chocolate originated. This project and others at Casady are great examples of service through cross-discipline collaboration."
Arts-4-Causes:  Mrs. Sue Scott and artist in residence, Mrs. Patt Webb
In the Primary Division, feature projects were:
Pinwheels for Peace-International Day of Peace: Divisional project facilitated by Mrs. Pat Czerwinski and Mrs. Jane Sharp
Recycling & Green Gifts for Elderly Pals: Mrs. Pat Czerwinski

On Thursday May 9th, on behalf of the UD Community Service-Learning Program, Dr. Bonnie Gerard  presented the second place plaque recognizing outstanding work in service connected to curriculum to our headmaster, Mr. Chirstopher Bright.

CSEE's  mission is to provide leading resources, expert voices, and an active forum for ethical growth and spiritual development in academically rigorous independent schools. CSEE represents a broad network of schools that share resources and commit together to nurture ethically rigorous and spiritually grounded citizens for tomorrow's world.  CSEE has a membership of 276 independent schools across the nation.



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