Sally Carless, founder and Executive Director of Global Village School, recently received the Ojai Peace Coalition’s Noble Peace Prize. Each year, the Coalition honors a local individual who works for and exhibits peace in their lives.
The nomination most specifically cited Carless’s attention to peace and justice issues through the establishment and continued operation of the Ojai-based Global Village School, an international K-12 homeschool diploma program with a creative, flexible approach and an emphasis on peace, justice, diversity, and sustainability. Global Village offers a full diploma program and college preparatory classes that prepare students to be wise and capable stewards of the planet and each other.
According to evan austin, founder of the Ojai Peace Coalition, “The purpose of the Noble Peace Prize is to recognize and honor local actions and lifestyles that positively affect our community in ways consistent with the Ojai Peace Coalition’s aims and values, and to create S/Heroes of Peace with the idea that culture is defined in part by our traditions, rituals, and honored individuals.”
Of Carless’s work with Global Village School, austin stated: “Your work addresses the very heart of social change and a culture of peace, resonating with Gandhi’s exhortation that true and lasting peace must begin with the children, and Maria Montessori’s wisdom that ‘establishing lasting peace is the work of education.’ You have taken a core cultural concept – education – and have re-infused it with humanity and made the almost spiritual concepts of compassion, justice, love, and peace a part of it. You recognize that we must educate whole human beings, and it is easy to call that a very noble endeavor indeed.”
Carless said, “I am very honored to receive this award. Our staff works very hard to empower our students to pursue their future goals in a way that enables them to prepare for college while building on their strengths and talents and staying true to who they are. We all work to nurture and protect the passion and enthusiasm for creating a better world inherent in so many young people. We seek to help our students lead authentic and meaningful lives, and strive to have them leave school feeling confident in their abilities to make an impact on the world around them. It is a wonderful feeling to have the value of our work acknowledged here in our home community.”
Global Village (GVS) is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year, along with the completion of a new K-8 “Whole Child, Healthy Planet “curriculum. With a learning styles-centered approach, and concentration in diversity and developmental stages, the curriculum focuses on engaging and supporting the whole child. The curriculum guides cover all of the core academic subjects in a way that engages students through a sense of enchantment, awe, and wonder as well as through incorporation of art, music, nature, imagination, and story. The guides are available for use by public and private schools as well as homeschooling families around the world.
GVS offers online and text-based curriculum along with individualized teacher services. Curriculum is customized based on student interests, needs, and learning styles. High school students choose from courses such as Planetary Stewardship, Reflections on Peacemaking, The Buddhist Path to Peace, Global Spirituality and Activism, and Human Rights.
The award ceremony was held at Matilija Auditorium in Ojai, as part of the closing evening for the Living Peace in Ojai weekend that was coordinated by the Retreats of Ojai, the Ojai Peace Coalition, yoga centers, the Ojai Interfaith Alliance, and others. The awarding of the peace prize was preceded by an official proclamation by Ojai’s mayor ,Joe DeVito, and followed by a showing of the film, “The Day After Peace.”
To learn more:
Ojai Peace Coalition: http://www.ojaipeace.org
Global Village School: http://www.globalvillageschool.org
Living Peace in Ojai: http://www.livingpeaceinojai.com