Times Chronicle & Public Spirit
Media-Providence Friends School celebrates Peace Day
The community at Media-Providence Friends School celebrated International Day of Peace on Sept. 21. MPFS has marked International Day of Peace with a day of programming for over 20 years.
Beginning with a unanimous United Nations resolution in 1981, “Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace,” according to internationaldayofpeace.org.
The celebration this year was particularly special at MPFS, as the community had the opportunity, in partnership with Media Meeting, to honor longtime guidance counselor Laura Taylor, who recently retired after 20-plus years of service to the school.
MPFS wanted to dedicate the peace pole in honor of Taylor, who has brought her expertise in mediation and conflict resolution, a passion for service learning and community stewardship and
mindfulness to our students, faculty and families.
Students, families, and meeting members joined on the front lawn to take part in a peace pole dedication ceremony led by Laura Taylor and MPFS parent and Media Meeting member Rich Hoffmann.
“The inspiration for this monument to peace came from Masahisa Goi in Japan in 1955,” Taylor said. “It took three decades for people in his country to spread word of this idea and inspire other countries to do the same. Now
every continent and every major city in the world has the pole as a symbol of the spirit of love and peace.” .
The pole is engraved with the words “May peace prevail on earth” in several different languages carefully selected both to encourage inclusivity and to honor several different current events and historical issues important to our MPFS students.
“It is a message of hope for world peace,” Taylor said. “It is a message that invites others to join with our school and Media
Quaker Meeting as peace builders.”
Languages selected include English, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, Maori, Hindi and Ukrainian in honor of those affected by the war and hostile Russian invasion. The final language chosen is Lenni-Lenape, the language originally spoken by the Delaware Native American tribe who lived in eastern Pennsylvania, all of New Jersey, southeastern New York and northern Delaware.
“We honor this land that was theirs,” Taylor said during her moving speech.
Every detail, from the languages selected to the sustainable cedar wood, was chosen with mindful precision by students in our middle school leadership elective in partnership with Media Meeting.
Music teacher Chelsea ViaCava and students led the group in song before returning to the classroom for even more peace-centered, cross-curricular activities and lessons.
Another special aspect of this year’s Peace Day celebrations was that the students in middle school leadership elective created lessons for their younger peers to participate in.
To close the installation ceremony, Taylor requested the community make a commitment to be a lifelong advocate for peace.
“Now it’s your responsibility to be a maker of peace, one who acts and speaks to create a world of love rather than hate,” she said. “This Peace Pole will stand here for many years to come as a reminder to hold peace in your heart.”
The MPFS Admissions Office continues to accept applications on a rolling basis. Prospective families are invited to register for our next live Virtual Open House at mpfs.org/rsvp. To learn more, visit our website or contact Angela DiMaria, assistant head of school and director of admissions & academic program at 610-565-1960, extension 104.