Symbols of Citizenship

"Active citizenship begins with an envisioning of the desired outcome and a conscious application of spiritual principles."  
- Dennis Kucinich -

Virginia Smircic and Miki Duval's  7th Grade students from St. Andrew's School worked together to create beautiful, vibrant murals that we were thrilled to share with the students in Ghana.  We were excited, when we first saw the murals in Savannah, to think of how incredible these pieces would look hanging way up high on the walls of the sun-lit Ghanaian classrooms.  We were delighted, furthermore, by the vision of these students and how consciously they worked to express all facets of active citizenship.

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We were impressed by the variety of pictures the students created to represent what it meant to them to be a global citizen.  There were symbols of friendship (with arms connected and shared into a heart), globes (projected on clasped hands), and patchwork flags that literally united the stars and stripes with Ghana’s red, gold, and green.  There were images that highlighted the importance of art, music, and drama, and others that called attention to athletics, the Olympics, and the influence of sportsmanship.  Some students emphasized the significance of conservation with drawings of turtles, elephants, and tulips.  There were emblems that reflected the variety of languages and nationalities in our world, and the worth of working with others to make our world whole (four hands putting together a puzzle of the world).

The students in Ghana - E.P. Primary Ho-Bankoe's  5A, 5B, and 6A classes - jumped out of their seats when they caught their first glimpse of the stunning murals.  They could see the time, energy, detail, and thought that went into the creation of these projects.  Each class excitedly grouped together - with students squishing together to stand at the front of the group so they could proudly help to hold the bright blue paper - to pose for a class photo.

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The students worked mindfully and with dedication that would certain equal that of their St. Andrew's School friends.  They searched their minds, after speaking as a class about what active citizenship means - for symbols that would do justice to their vision.  They sat, with focus in their eyes and pencils pressed to paper, drawing images and symbols until it was finally time to cut and glue.  Students took turns pasting their creating on the mural paper provided for them and they stood back, once they had finished, with a glowing sense of peace and pride.

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