ROWLEY – Between the two world wars of the last century, Maria Montessori, the first woman Italian doctor and innovative educator, had a message for world leaders: Children are the Peacemakers of the Future.
The students at the North Shore Montessori School here, along with students all over the world, delivered to the world the same message on Sept. 21, International Peace Day. About two dozen three- to six-year-old students stood around the school’s Peace Pole and at 9:15 sang Light a Candle for Peace.
Coordinated by Montessori schools, public and private, around the world, students in eastern New Zealand kicked off the song. It traveled with the sun around the planet with students in 48 zones taking their turns singing the song for peace.
“At North Shore Montessori, everyone gathers around our peace pole and sings Light a Candle for Peace continuously for our five-minute time slot,” said Margaret Henry, the school’s founder and director. “It’s a way for the children to feel connected to something larger, and lift their voices together for peace.”
Henry, the director, founded North Shore Montessori in 2006. Located at 121 Wethersfield St., the school serves students from two years and nine months of age to those in the sixth grade.
Montessori, known for her innovative education techniques practiced in schools around the world, argued passionately, including in a speech before the United Nations, that education is a means, maybe the only way, of eliminating war once and for all.