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Hold to enduring truths. (Memberandum).

As I write this article, the Northern Alliance forces in Afghanistan have just captured the city of Kabul. Two months ago, I could not have pointed to Kabul on a map. Probably many of you also would have had trouble locating the Afghan capital city. These are days when facts seem to have become as slippery as time. Those things that we knew to be true yesterday are changing with alarming speed. By the time you read this, spring will be near. Perhaps by then the world will be more settled.

Whatever happens, one simple truth remains--a you belong to an organization that has endured for 110 years. Founded in 1892, ACEI supports the professional development of teachers, stands as a forum for informed dialogue on the issues educators face, presents a balanced perspective on the best educational practices of the past century, supports ongoing research in childhood education, and seeks to improve the health, education, and well-being of children around the world.

Fortunately, we have a strong foundation in history as we face the future. In 1942, ACEI (then known as ACE) adopted "A Policy on Young Children and War." The document begins, "The fact that the [world] is at war does not alter the fundamental principles of childhood education. It does call for a statement of aims in terms of the present crisis." We seek "with other related agencies to guarantee for all children adequate protection, intelligent participation, and balanced perspective." (The policy was adopted and incorporated into the plan of action by ACE delegates to the Golden Jubilee Convention, April 9, 1942.)

We also have the strength of our present and boundless hope for the future. The November 2001 issue of Newslinks, published by Oregon ACEI, includes an article by a teacher who was six blocks from the World Trade Center at 9 a.m. on September 11. Remembering the difficult task faced by a former teacher who sought to calm students at the beginning of the Gulf War, she sent the following message to teachers around the world:

I do have one request on behalf of the city of New York. It is important for kids to know that Muslims or people of Arab descent (American or not) are not the enemy. The only real enemy we have is hatred. Children probably have more power than anyone in this tragedy. If they are loving and nonviolent to each other, and really commit to it, they can make a choice to change this world as they inherit it.

In the wake of the September 11 tragedies we can help students to feel safe, to be proud of their country, to show empathy for others, and to learn to resolve conflicts in peaceful ways.

--Mary Beth Garrick

ACEI continues to stand as a clear leader, guiding the way through chaos to a brighter tomorrow. I hope you will join us in San Diego, California, from April 3-6, for our 110th Annual International Conference & Exhibition, and help shape the future of childhood education around the world.
Marilyn B. Gardner,
Director of Membership & Marketing
COPYRIGHT 2002 Association for Childhood Education International
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Title Annotation:Association for Childhood Education International
Publication:Childhood Education
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 22, 2002
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