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Head’s Holiday Note

16 Dec

December, 2015

It is hope that gives life meaning.  And hope is based on the prospect of being able one day to turn the actual world into one that looks better.  ~Francois Jacob

Dear Applewild Community,

Earlier today I was reminded that it won’t be long until the days will begin getting longer – the solstice is near and soon the light will begin to replace the darkness.  This image of darkness overcoming light is but one of many that surround us during the holiday season and inspire hope and the promise of renewal at this time of year.   Celebrations reflect our desire to find light and warmth in a time of darkness, and within our own lives we illuminate, literally and also figuratively, that which is meaningful and gives hope.

Those of us who work in schools receive the gift of hope from our students. One of the marvelous blessings of a life spent in school work is that the students themselves are symbols of hope, for they are the future. Moreover, they are symbols of renewal.  Teaching is a transformative work, because it is a chance to shape a new history, a new life, and to influence the future of peace in the world.  As Mahatma Gandhi asserted, “If we are to reach real peace in the world, we shall have to begin with the children.”

Each day at Applewild we strive to return the gift of hope to our children so that they, too, know that their light can overcome the darkness present in the world.  I vividly recall my own elementary holiday program and the powerful words that, when sung in our second grade voices, brought tears to my beloved Mrs. Signom’s eyes:

Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me
Let there be peace on earth
The peace that was meant to be. 

As we sang, we held paper candles that were meant to represent the light of peace – and the light of hope.

So as we experience the death of the old year and the birth of the new, as the darkness ceases to dominate the light, I wish you all a time of hope, renewal, peace and joy:  hope for and in our children, renewal of commitment to and love for our families, peace for our world, and joy in the promise of our children and the future that is theirs.

With a grateful heart,
Christie Stover

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