Maria Montessori was three times nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize so not surprisingly, peace is at the foundation of the Montessori curriculum: peace in oneself, peace towards others and peace towards the environment. But at OMS, peace doesn’t just set the foundation for our curriculum. It is also a part of our physical foundation; our building is a designated World Citizen Inc. International Peace site and you can see the plaque deeming us so in our front vestibule.
Almost a decade ago, a few OMS teachers visited Lake Country Montessori in Wisconsin and saw a Peace Pole on the schools’ grounds. After asking permission, one staff member brought the idea back to OMS. The idea immediately generated buzz amongst our staff but we had to wait to act on the idea: Only once our dream of a natural playground was a reality did the idea of a Peace Pole resurface.
On Friday, September 19, 2014 we introduced the final project to our students: The OMS Peace Path. The Peace Path is OMS’ version of a Peace Pole (A Peace Pole is a hand-crafted monument that displays the message “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in different languages. Our Peace Path is made up of Peace Pole signs in many different languages on wooden planks that make an arched-pathway in our playground). You can now read “Peace May Prevail on Earth” on our natural playground in the following languages: English, French, Spanish, Hebrew, Swahili, Cree, Chinese, Arabic. We plan to add a couple languages to our collection in the near future.
We held a school-wide assembly to teach our students the significance of the Peace Path. We intentionally held the assembly the Friday before International Peace Day, an annual day dedicated to world peace and global ceasefire. The OMS Peace Path is symbolic to the peace we instill in our school all year round.
It is estimated that there are more than 200,000 Peace Poles that have been dedicated in nearly every country on Earth. We are honoured to be home to our unique version of a Peace Pole!