“Let them stare. Let them see. We will show the world harmony,” sang school children from the Osun State of Nigeria to immigrant children in Los Angeles County, in response to a recent Full-Circle Learning wisdom exchange.
Earlier in the school year, Tarzana Elementary School’s Habits-of-Heart students set out to plant seeds of kindness. Their teacher helped them integrate academic and arts projects and send a wisdom exchange package, including hand-made gifts of tie-dyed shirts, to classmates across the ocean. Each child penned a list of inquiries to their new brothers and sisters, sharing their own upcoming plans to grow real seeds of kindness in a community garden.
They sent their package at a time when shipping delays plagued the US Postal Service. (For a time, we wondered whether the large box would ever get as far as Lagos, let alone to the village.) After many calls to the customs office, the Nigerian wisdom exchange liaison finally reported its arrival. Her delighted students wrote replies about their own farming projects and their process of making dye from vegetables. Their Unity Class (grades 2-3) had grown local plants as gifts for teachers. Their Patience Class (Preschoolers) had grown maize and cassava to feed the community. Their first-grade Cooperation Class had honored local orphanage founders for kindness.
Cherishing the letters and wearing the shirts, the Nigerian children sang the Harmony song and videotaped it for their faraway family in the town of Tarzana. Meanwhile, Tarzana’s principal shared the story with joyous parents, many of them immigrants themselves. The Full-Circle Learners enjoyed knowing they could sow seeds of kindness abroad and watch them sprout.
Full-Circle Learning has provided teacher training or direct student-service programs at each of these 43 learning institutions in the United States between 1992 and 2020 (photo essay attached):
Professional Development Workshops in: