By Nena Thornburg
Valley Oaks Charter School Science teacher and High School Advisor 

'May Peace Prevail on Earth'


June 10, 2023

Nick Smirnoff (NPPA).

From left to right: Becky Bartz, director of Valley Oaks Charter School; Desiree Von Flue, assistant superintendent Kern County Schools; Kristi Henry, principle of Valley Oaks Charter School; Judy Trujillo, life long educator and president of Rotary Club of Tehachapi; Nena Thornburg, science teacher and high school advisor at Valley Oaks Charter School.

The Peace Pole Project is a service project that our Valley Oaks Tehachapi High School Interact Club students completed this year. Our high school students fundraised through bake sales, Panda Express fundraisers, and yearbook sales.

A peace pole is an international symbol of peace. A peace pole displays the message "May Peace Prevail on Earth" usually in the primary language of the country where it has been placed, as well as in three to seven additional translations. "May Peace Prevail On Earth" is an inclusive, universal message and referred to as an affirmation of peace. Peace poles are intended to inspire unity among people of all cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds. There is an estimated 250,000 peace poles in every country in the world dedicated as monuments to peace. Our Valley Oaks Tehachapi High School Interact Club students chose a four-sided peace pole that can fit eight languages (English, Mandarin, Spanish, French, Arabic, Russian, German and Japanese), braille, and a unity flag.

Peace poles are used by groups all over the world as reminders of peace. Rotary Clubs and Interact Clubs see the peace poles as monuments to peace action. Through our service projects, we are taking action to address the underlying causes of conflict. Sometimes, it's just a matter of using the right words.

Peace poles were created in 1955 in Japan by Masahisa Goi, in the wake of the destruction wrought by World War II and the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Devastated by the repercussions of war, Goi wished to spread a message of peace worldwide. Our students chose to plant a peace pole at our school to demonstrate our commitment to peace and inspire others to do the same.

Rotary Club of Tehachapi President, Judy Trujillo led the public dedication at our Maker Faire, on May 19.


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