This letter was originally sent to the Groton-Dunstable School Committee on October 25, following a presentation by teacher Betsy Sawyer and student members of the Big Book: Pages for Peace Project.
Hello G-DRSD School Committee members,
My wife and I attended last evening’s school committee meeting with presentations from Mrs. Sawyer and the ‘Pages for Peace’ club about their trip to the UN. Our son Ryan was one of the speakers.
My wife and I were chaperones on the trip and my son attended it. We thought the kids did a great job speaking about the trip last night, but I feel that an important aspect of that trip went unsaid. To be honest, I didn’t know that much about the peace club or Mrs. Sawyer prior to the trip. All I knew was that they produced a big book on peace. After the trip, however, my wife and I came away with new-found respect and admiration for Mrs. Sawyer and the peace club.
While we were in NY I felt like a “roady” for a popular rock band. The reception that the club got at the UN and all the places we visited was simply amazing. The level of interest and respect showed for the club by Ambassador (Anwarul K.) Chowdhury and all the people we interacted with was incredible. The ambassador is, no doubt, a busy man and has an extremely impressive resume. And yet, he found the time to come and speak for quite a while with the kids outside the UN. He spoke eloquently about his view that if we were ever to realize peace in this world, it would have to start with the children. He also expressed his admiration and gratitude to the kids for their work towards this goal which he had devoted his life to.
While the Ambassador spoke to the kids I was standing nearby and people were coming over to me and talking about what an incredible man he was and also praising the kids, the club and our school. On the morning of the conference as we were entering the UN, a delegate who attended the conference stopped to ask me what the peace group was about. He said he had seen them speaking with Ambassador Chowdhury the previous day. I told him what I knew and he asked if I could point out some of the kids involved. Then he went over and spoke to some of them and thanked them for their work and told them that the UN was “their house” and that it was the only place in the world that belonged to all people. It was a great experience and very humbling
Everywhere we went random people would stop us to ask about the club and our school. They all expressed their amazement and admiration for the kids and what they were doing. We believe that Mrs. Sawyer and this group of Groton-Dunstable students are great ambassadors to the world for our communities and our school and my wife and are very proud to have them in this role. We will do whatever we can to support them in their good work.
Thank you all for your time and attention.