“Seeds of Change” Exhibition Shown at High School in Newmarket, Ontario
Classes Involved in “Taking Action” program by Classroom Connections
On Wednesday, June 2, Maurice Ford, a high school history teacher and SGI Canada member, organized with his fellow teachers and administration, the showing of the Seeds of Change exhibition and the video A Quiet Revolution for all 1,200 students at Dr. John M. Denison Secondary School in Newmarket, Ontario. The school is also using the Classroom Connections program, Cultivating Peace – Taking Action, to which SGI contributed the video A Quiet Revolution and posters from the Seeds of Change Exhibition.
This event was conducted as part of the school’s Environment Week, with the focus on promoting awareness of the principles of the Earth Charter and World Environment Day, June 5.
The exhibition was displayed in the school’s foyer from Tuesday through Friday, and three general assemblies were held for all the students (Grade 9, Grade 10, and Grades 11 and 12) on Wednesday morning. A Quiet Revolution was introduced by Mr. Ford, and following the film, SGI Canada General Director Tony Meers gave a brief explanation of SGI President Daisaku Ikeda’s education proposal, which led to the United Nations declaring the decade from 2005 the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.
On Thursday, the students engaged in a neighbourhood clean-up, collecting 103 bags of garbage. By taking action themselves, these young people learned that one person really can make a difference. Staff and students at the school were grateful for the opportunity to be inspired by the Taking Action resource, the Seeds of Change exhibition and the message of hope for the future in A Quiet Revolution.
Following are comments from Mr. Ford’s Grade 10 students:
“Being informed of the major issues that are occurring in the world and the poverty-ridden areas of the earth was very shocking and in many ways disturbing…. The movie made me realize that I cannot turn my back on society. I evidently now feel that I can be instrumental and save lives through simple actions and decisions. This presentation has opened my eyes to how one person can make more of a difference than expected. I only hope I can find the courage to make a difference now.”
“This morning’s presentation about the environmental problems facing the world had a clear message to us. That message is that if we do not do something to stop polluting, there can and will be serious consequences. It showed me that we have to pay attention to the environment. Though we can easily ignore the problem here in Canada, people in countries like India and Kenya suffer from environmental problems that threaten their survival. The droughts in India have claimed many lives, and though some villages have come up with ways to use the monsoon rains all year round, many places still suffer from lack of drinking water. We should take action, if not for ourselves, for the rest of the world.”