Dear Fairville Families,
I am certain that many of you watched the political ads that aired regularly during the presidential campaign. The ad that reminded the viewer that "our children are watching" always captured my attention. There was plenty of negativity on both sides of the campaign and I was worried about the messages the candidates were conveying to our youth through their words and actions. Last week, after the election, we witnessed several middle school and high school students engaged in hurtful acts that targeted specific members of their school communities. Yes, the children are watching and what they are learning from prominent adults in their world is distressing. Yet, I remain optimistic. I know that we have the power to change the message from one of divisiveness to one of love and inclusivity. And when we do, I know the children will still be watching, and listening too. That’s what makes our work as Quaker school educators so important.
From the very first day of a new school year, the teachers at Fairville devote an extraordinary amount of time to helping young children develop valuable social skills. Children practice listening, communicating wants and needs, sharing and working with others, waiting for a turn, and being still for a moment of silence. They learn skills that are needed to function as a positive member of a community and, most importantly, they learn what it means to be kind: to people, to animals, and to the environment. We do not take this work lightly, it is every bit as important as learning about letters, numbers, nature, or scientific principles. From International Day of Peace, to our outreach programs, to our morning Meeting for Worship and our playful interactions in the classroom and on the playgrounds, children are learning to love and care for themselves, for one another, and for all who exist in the world outside our gates--with no exceptions. This is the message we strive to impart to our young learners and one that we believe will one day have a lasting impact on the world.
Yes, the children are watching. They are listening. Let’s offer them messages of love, peace, and unity.