SARANYU PEARSON of Australia and her fellow U.S. peace runners, teacher Brunswick Parks and Recreation summer camp students the World Harmony Run Song Friday at Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary School, in the photo on the left. Above, children attending the Brunswick Parks and Recreation Department's summer camp carry their own torches as they follow peace runner DARCIE MOORE / THE TIMES RECORD

SARANYU PEARSON of Australia and her fellow U.S. peace runners, teacher Brunswick Parks and Recreation summer camp students the World Harmony Run Song Friday at Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary School, in the photo on the left. Above, children attending the Brunswick Parks and Recreation Department’s summer camp carry their own torches as they follow peace runner DARCIE MOORE / THE TIMES RECORD

BRUNSWICK

A national relay run trotted through Brunswick Friday, bringing a torch and a message of peace to124 children at Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary School.

The kids, attending a summer camp hosted by Brunswick Parks and Recreation, welcomed several members of the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run, a global relay seeking to strengthen international friendship and understanding. Participants run between 6-12 miles per day.

“We pass the torch on so each one has a chance to run, and this way we feel that this event spreads the message that the peace in the world depends on and begins with the peace that we have in our hearts,” said peace runner Banshidhar Madeiros of Hawaii. “And the peace that we share with one another like being kind to one another and by doing nice things for one another.”

The summer camp kids, in grades 1-6, got to guess where each peace runner is from, sing the World Harmony Run song and watch skits that illustrated the difference between positive, friendly behavior and unfriendly reactions.

 

 

“I’m sure you always hear it from your own parent or the counselors you’re working with. It’s always good that we’re not trying to bully and we’re trying to be open to new ideas,” said Jonathan Fisk, the summer camp’s director. “I think for some kids it gets old and so it’s always great to see not only from an outsider but these people who are from other countries that we’re all doing the same thing.”

Peace runner Arpan DeAngelo of New York City, who was one of the organizers of the first run in 1987, said the runners like seeing how excited the children get, and to see adults interacting children as part of the program.

“I’ve been involved since the beginning and I’m still doing it. Luckily, I’m healthy enough to do most of it. I used to go the whole four months but now I do about half of it,” the 66- year-old said.

DeAngelo used to be a teacher and it’s the joy of working with children and seeing them learn while having fun that keeps him involved.

“Education should be fun,” he said. “It just fulfills us as adults and also as people because I think it’s an inherit quality we all have. Peace is something is very natural but sometimes it gets blocked by all the stress we have to go through so we just want to be good role models for children.”

The peace run goes to a lot of schools where teachers create a curriculum around peace. On Sept. 20- 30, there will be about 7,000 paintings and other artwork from children all over the world from this programming at the Colosseum in Rome, DeAngelo said.

“Peace is a very powerful and active thing,” he said, adding,

“Peace doesn’t happen unless it starts with the people.”

For more information visit peacerun.org.

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