The Edmond Sun


April 8, 2013

Respect Diversity recognizes Edmond students

Orvis Risner wins 1st place with ‘The Great Tree of Peace’

EDMOND — Linda Skinner’s second- through fifth-grade enrichment students at Orvis Risner Elementary won first place for their entry in the 12th annual Respect Diversity contest and will be recognized for their efforts at the annual Respect Diversity Competition & Exhibition Awards Ceremony.

The ceremony is scheduled for 5 p.m. tonight at the Harding Fine Arts Academy, 3333 N. Shartel Ave. in Oklahoma City.

Orvis Risner students will join students from Nichols Hills Elementary School and Harding Fine Arts Academy in providing musical entertainment for the evening and Starbucks will provide refreshments.

“Guests will experience a video of colorful, creative collaborations by thousands of students throughout the state of Oklahoma exploring diversity through the arts,” said Joan Korenblit, executive director of Respect Diversity Foundation.

The Respect Diversity competition relies on symbolism as the students use art to show how each person is different yet the same using various methods from a park bench in the past that recognized Rosa Parks to types of fish in the sea to “The Great Tree of Peace” chosen by Orvis Risner fifth-graders this year.

“The Great Tree of Peace represents the Iroquois Confederacy, which united five separate tribes as one in peace,” said Caleb Kreaps.

“The Tree of the Great Long Leaves” was chosen by The Peacemaker, the Northern Great Lakes Tribe Huron, to be the symbol of the sheltering league.

“The white pine stands straight and tall, and as an evergreen it represents constant and continuing life,” Skinner said. “Each part of this pine is symbolic, and the students gathered and repurposed everything that the tree was made from including the eagle sitting on top of the tree made from a recycled vinegar bottle.”

Breana Nothubi explained how the students decoupaged phrases, words and pictures that depicted peace to them.

The peacemaker told the tribes to take all of their weapons and plant them under the tree, said Blayk Middick.

The roots of peace spread in four directions, uniting many in a growing peace. The term “bury the hatchet” originated when the Five Nations buried their weapons under the Great Tree of Peace as a vow never to make war against each other again.

“The peacemaker showed the tribes how one arrow could break, but five new arrows bound together could not break just as the five tribes making peace together could not be broken,” said Ryli Smith.

 While the trunk represents unity and strength, the branches represent the clans and nations that are sheltered by the Great Law of Peace. Each needle of the tree represents a person, each important to the whole and the pine cones represent new life within, the coming generations who need protection.

“We use teaching books to teach other classes the symbolism of The Tree of Peace,” said Jackson Hoenshell.  

When asked how the students were going to practice peace in their lives they came up with various answers.

“I want to become part of the government and go to one country at a time telling them about peace,” Ruby Pendergraft said.

In The Great Law of Peace, every decision had to consider seven generations to come.

Caleb said before he makes a decision he will think about its outcome and ask himself how will it affect the next seven generations as the Native Americans did.

The eagle perched above The Great Tree of Peace sees with far-sighted vision, wisdom and vigilance and warns of approaching dangers just as the eagle made and placed on top of the tree by the students.

Text Only
  • UCO announces Spring 2014 Honor Roll students

    The University of Central Oklahoma recently announced the students named to the university honor rolls, a distinction given to those who achieve the highest academic standards.
    For the spring 2014 semester, 1,073 students made the President’s Honor Roll, an honor achieved by those who recorded a “straight-A” or 4.0 GPA.

    July 28, 2014

  • 11.6.12 Mother and Cub (2).jpg UCO forensic researcher answers key question

    After working a few human recovery cases on a volunteer basis with a variety of police departments, a question kept bugging Kama King.
    “You spend the whole day,” the UCO W. Roger Webb Forensic Science Institute student said, “sometimes days, searching for someone and only find a skull or a few bones and it just ate at me. Are we not finding this or is it not there to be found?”

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • pm_Ramona Paul.jpg Keith, 5 others to receive service awards

    The 2014 Door-Opener Awards Gala dinner and silent auction Sept. 4, benefitting ASTEC Charter Schools, will recognize five outstanding Oklahomans and one Kansan for lifetime contributions made toward helping others in society maximize potential and achieve dreams.
    Those selected to receive a Door-Opener Award at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel event include Dr. Harvey Dean, Pittsburg, Kan.; Toby Keith and Tricia Covel, Norman; Former Gov. George P. Nigh, Edmond; the late Dr. Ramona Paul, Edmond; and Natalie Shirley, Oklahoma City.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • Edmond Youth Chorus auditions begin Monday

    The Fine Arts Institute of Edmond is seeking talented youth to try out for the upcoming season of the Edmond Youth Chorus.

    July 25, 2014

  • Rainbow Fleet introduces statewide child care line

    Oklahoma parents can now access a statewide program designed to provide resources and referrals for services across Oklahoma.

    July 25, 2014

  • Team Oklahoma Team Oklahoma brings home third place from NTAE

    Members of Team Oklahoma competing in the National Tournament of Academic Excellence placed third at the national competition held recently in Orlando.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Edmond School District’s change orders anticipated

    When building new schools and classrooms there may be additional costs, but when renovating older buildings those costs can more than double, according to a Edmond School District official.
    “When remodeling, you have unknown and hidden costs and you need to include in your budgeted funds for the built-in items you can not see,” said Bret Towne, Edmond’s associate superintendent of general administration.

    July 25, 2014

  • OC welcomes missionary, military families

    For the ninth consecutive year Oklahoma Christian University will host missionary and military families returning to the United States at Global Reunion 2014.
    The July 23-27 camp has doubled in size in the last two years with 150 participants from 43 countries on campus.
    The camp is for children who are known as Third Culture Kids (TCKs) though parents are allowed to attend sessions as well. Directors Kent and Nancy Hartman, missionaries-in-residence at OC, give tools and resources to families that have lived outside the United States and are now seeking to reenter U.S. culture. The Hartmans spent more than 10 years as missionaries in Australia and were surprised by the challenges of reintegrating their family into America.

    July 25, 2014

  • UCO DEBATE_submitted.jpg UCO debate team succeeds at nationals

    The University of Central Oklahoma’s debate team traveled to Bloomington, Ind., at the end of March to compete in the Cross Examination Debate Association’s National Championship Tournament (CEDANCT), bringing home several awards and finishing the year ranked no. 24 in the nation.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • OBU dance team celebrates National Dance Day

    In 2010, “So You Think You Can Dance” co-creator and Dizzy Feet Foundation co-president Nigel Lythgoe created National Dance Day in an effort to help people embrace dance and combat obesity on the last Saturday in July.
    This year, on July 26, Oklahoma Baptist University’s dance team will host a fundraiser that allows participants to dance all day for $30. The fundraiser will be in the Noble Complex on OBU’s campus.
    Cami Gower, an OBU junior and co-captain/co-founder of the dance team, said the team’s officers have been planning for their upcoming season since April. Gower is a graduate of Deer Creek High School.
    “Since then we have been coming up with better ways to reach the community with dance,” she said. “This day of dance was a great way to do it and help the team raise funds.”

    July 24, 2014