On Pathways to Peace

  • Science and Technology

    on Pathways to Peace

    in Sayville School District


        Volunteers of The Shanti Fund, a Long Island-based charitable organization committed to enlightenment and peace through education, celebrated their tenth anniversary on Long Island with an ambitious program entitled “The Pathways to Peace Project” that reached out to 11 school districts islandwide. The purpose of this collaboration with schools has been “to counter the trend” of unprecedented violence to which our children are witness, via news, video games, online activities, and even in their daily lives.


    Last year, Sayville High School students Ian Besso, Kerishma Panigrahi, and Matthew Muller (alternate James Muller) won First Place in the Shanti Fund Peace Perspective 2008 Debates. This year, Sayville School District Superintendent Dr. Rosemary Jones agreed to host one of the celebratory program events by sponsoring Peace through Science and Technology, one of eleven subthemes.


    Recently, during the evening celebration with guests from the Shanti Fund at the Sayville Middle, secondary- and elementary-student exhibits  were on display. Among those viewing presentations on robotics, videoconference, scientific research, public service announcements, and poster artwork inspired by Mahatma Gandi’s message were Sayville Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Dr. Geraldine Sullivan Keck, along with Middle School Principal Dr. Walter Schartner, Department Chairpersons Mr. Bernstein, Mr. Coon, Mr. Schmeider, Mr. Vorwald, BOE President Deborah Van Essendelft, Instructional Technology Coordinator Barbara Hall, robotics advisor Bill Vogel, students, and families.


    Guest speakers included Shanti Fund Volunteers Dr. Panna Shah and Dr. Shahin Shaikh, Sayville History Club members Jennifer Ferremi and Krishma Panigrahi who led an audience discussion on the possibility of World Peace; and Yoga Instructor Nisha Yoshi who demonstrated yoga poses for better wellbeing. While Sayville High School’s Internet Radio, WSAY, under the direction of Mr. Jeff Hoffman and Mr. Andrew Giammalvo, covered the event with a live broadcast, the evening’s presentations concluded with student-read passages from Philip Glass’s opera Satyagraha about Gandhi which were accompanied by student-composed electronic music.


    This year’s program examines other topics (such as Peace through… Music, Religion and Spirituality, Health and Relationships, Cultural and Diversity, Environment and Habitat, Government-Law-Security, Literacy, Education, Economy and Business, and finally Media) at other schools and locations. Check the Shanti Fund website for details: http://www.shantifund.org


    back row (l-r): Chandani Shah, Assistant Superintend for Curriculum Dr. Geraldine Sullivan Keck, Sayville Middle School Principal Dr. Walter Schartner, Science Department Chairman Brian Vorwald, Board of Education President Deborah VanEssendelft, Technology Teacher Bill Vogel, Coordinator of Instructional Technology Barbara Hall, Music Teacher Andrew Giammalvo, English Department Chairman Edward Schmeider, and Music Department Chairman Neil Bernstein

    front row (l-r) Mr. Arvind Vora, Jyoti Shah, Sangeeta Kulkarni, Dr. Panna Shah, Choral Director Jeffrey Hoffman, Varsha Patel, Technology Department Chairman Bryan Coon, Dr. Shaheen Sheikh, and  ILA Vora

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