Friday, October 20, 2017

Happy Diwali 2017


DIWALI is now underway, with the five-day celebration being enjoyed by millions around the world.
The festival of light sees Hindu homes decorated with candles and lights and people sharing gifts - but what is the celebration all about?

 Diwali celebrates the Hindu belief that good will always triumph over evil

Diwali celebrates the Hindu belief that good will always triumph over evil

What do the different dates of Diwali mean?

  1. Dhanteras (October 17): 'Dhah' means wealth - and this day is dedicated to celebrating prosperity.
  2. Naraka Chaturdasi or Chhoti Diwali (October 18): Known as 'small Diwali', Goddess Kali and Lord Krishna are believed to have destroyed the demon Narakasura on this day. Kali is worshiped in West Bengal, while demon effigies are burned in Goa.
  3. Amavasya (October 19): The new moon day, and the darkest day of the month, which is the most significant day of Diwali.
  4. The fourth day (October 20): This day has various meanings in different parts of India. In the north, it's the day Lord Krishna defeated Indra. In Gujarat, it's the start of the new year.
  5. Bhai Dooj (October 21): A feast and celebration of brotherly-sisterly love. Read more here.

Why is Diwali celebrated by Hindus?

The five-day festival, which coincides with Hindu New Year, is seen to be one of the most significant in the Indian culture.
Many people celebrate the legend of Hindu God Rama and his wife Sita's returning to their kingdom in northern India after being exiled following the defeat of demon king Ravanna.
The word itself means "series of lights" and during the festival houses and shops are decorated with candles and lights.
This is meant to represent light over darkness and the Hindu belief that good will always triumph over evil.
For many Indians, Diwali honors Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and people will start the new business year at Diwali and some will say prayers to the goddess for a prosperous year ahead.

 Diwali is marked by huge firework displays, which recall the celebrations believed to have taken place upon Rama’s return

What is the festival of light all about?

Diwali is marked by huge firework displays, which are supposed to reflect the celebrations of Lord Rama's return.
Traditional earthen diyas or candles are lit, and houses are decorated with colorful rangoli artworks – patterns created on the floor using colored rice or powder.
During the festival, families, and friends share sweets and gifts and there is also a strong belief in giving to those in need. It is also traditional for homes to be cleaned and new clothes to be worn.
Indian sweets which come in a range of colors and flavors are also eaten during the celebrations, as well as various rich savory and sweet dishes.

Inside the festival of Maha Shivaratri where thousands of Hindu pilgrims gather

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Casady School's Photo
The Dig Pink® Rally is The Side-Out Foundation’s October event that brings together volleyball players across the nation to raise funds for breast cancer research, demonstrate the power of teamwork, and show support for people with the disease. Money raised through Dig Pink®supports Side-Out’s game-changing cancer research and programs to develop the whole player.


The Casady Girls Volleyball program is passionate about breast cancer awareness month, as the girls have family members and friends affected by breast cancer. 

The team held its yearly fundraiser called Pink Out at 6:30 on Wednesday, October 18th, at the Bennett Athletic Center. It was a fun volleyball game between the Varsity Team and their UD Faculty members. Senior Regan D. stated during a chapel announcement that the girls were raising funds by seeking donations, selling t-shirts, and hosting a bake sale. 

Their goal for donations online was to collect $2,500.  If you were not able to attend the game, please consider giving HERE. The link will be accessible until October 31, 2017.

Casady YAC is preparing to have its Annual Students Against Hunger, Casady Cans Do the week of October 30 to November 3rd.  The freshman team facilitating the drive has stated that their goal is to raise as much in funds and cans as Casady donated last year.  Memories of past food drives at Casady Students Against Hunger Blog

The Service Learning Program at the Upper Division in collaboration with YAC started a mentoring program with Stanley Hupfeld Academy at Western Village.  Juniors Katherine S., Evie W., CourtneyLee M. and sophomores Ford W., Teddy J., and Christian O. had their Positive Directions Training at Stanley Hupfeld Academy Integris Positive Directions Mentoring Program , on October 18, 2017.  Cyclones, in pairs, will take turns mentoring a child on Wednesdays during their lunch time and Activities.  The mentors will be transported by Casady vehicle and Stanley Hupfeld will provide lunch.  Aside from helping with academic areas of concern, the mentor's main goal is to spend quality with their "little". Mentors received a profile of their "little" on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at their mentoring room at Stanley Hupfeld Academy at Western Village.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

A Salute to Selena at the end of Hispanic Heritage Month

Google Doodle Salutes Selena Gomez at the end of Hispanic Heritage Month
Today we celebrate Selena Quintanilla: Mexican-American music & entertainment icon, fashion trendsetter, passionate entrepreneur, and community philanthropist.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

October 12: A diversity of connections

From Wikipedia

Columbus Day is a national holiday in many countries of the Americas and elsewhere which officially celebrates the anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas on October 12, 1492. 

The landing is celebrated as "Columbus Day" in the United States, as "Día de la Raza" ("Day of the Race") in many countries in Latin America, as "Día de la Hispanidad" and "Fiesta Nacional" in Spain, where it is also the religious festivity of la Virgen del Pilar, as Día de las Américas (Day of the Americas) in Belize and Uruguay, as Día del Respeto a la Diversidad Cultural (Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity) in Argentina, and as Giornata Nazionale di Cristoforo Colombo or Festa Nazionale di Cristoforo Colombo in Italy as well as in Little Italys around the world.[1][2] 

These holidays have been unofficially celebrated since the late 18th century and they have been officially celebrated in various countries since the early 20th century.

Some have started to call October 12th, "Dia de la Globalizacion."
Indigenous Peoples' Day[1] is a holiday that celebrates the Indigenous peoples of America. It is celebrated across the United States, and is an official city and state holiday in various localities around the country. It began as a counter-celebration to the U.S. federal holiday of Columbus Day, which honors European explorer Christopher Columbus. Indigenous Peoples Day is intended to celebrate Native Americans and commemorate their shared history and culture.
The holiday was first instituted in Berkeley, California in 1992, coinciding with the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas in 1492. It later spread to Santa Cruz, California in 1994, and then to various other cities and states beginning in the mid-to-late 2010s. Indigenous Peoples' Day is held on the second Monday of October, coinciding with the designated date for the federal observance of Columbus Day.[2] It is similar to Native American Day, observed in September in California and Tennessee, and the same day as Indigenous Peoples' Day in South Dakota.
Oklahoma Youth Action March 2017 
Bartolomé de las Casas (Spanish: [bartoloˈme ðe las ˈkasas]c. 1484[1] – 18 July 1566) was a 16th-century Spanish historian, social reformer and Dominican friar. He became the first resident Bishop of Chiapas, and the first officially appointed "Protector of the Indians". His extensive writings, the most famous being A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies and Historia de Las Indias, chronicle the first decades of colonization of the West Indies and focus particularly on the atrocities committed by the colonizers against the indigenous peoples.[2]
Arriving as one of the first European settlers in the Americas, he initially participated in, but eventually felt compelled to oppose the atrocities committed against the Native Americans by the Spanish colonists. In 1515, he reformed his views, gave up his Indian slaves and encomienda, and advocated, before King Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, on behalf of rights for the natives. In his early writings, he advocated the use of African slaves instead of Natives in the West-Indian colonies; consequently, criticisms have been leveled at him as being partly responsible for the beginning of the Transatlantic slave trade. Later in life, he retracted those early views as he came to see all forms of slavery as equally wrong. In 1522, he attempted to launch a new kind of peaceful colonialism on the coast of Venezuela, but this venture failed, causing Las Casas to enter the Dominican Order and become a friar, leaving the public scene for a decade. He then traveled to Central America undertaking peaceful evangelization among the Maya of Guatemala and participated in debates among the Mexican churchmen about how best to bring the natives to the Christian faith.
Traveling back to Spain to recruit more missionaries, he continued lobbying for the abolition of the encomienda, gaining an important victory by the passing of the New Laws in 1542. He was appointed Bishop of Chiapas, but served only for a short time before he was forced to return to Spain because of resistance to the New Laws by the encomenderos, and conflicts with Spanish settlers because of his pro-Indian policies and activist religious stances. The remainder of his life was spent at the Spanish court where he held great influence over Indies-related issues. In 1550, he participated in the Valladolid debate in which Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda argued that the Indians were less than human and required Spanish masters in order to become civilized. Las Casas maintained that they were fully human and that forcefully subjugating them was unjustifiable.
Bartolomé de las Casas spent 50 years of his life actively fighting slavery and the violent colonial abuse of indigenous peoples, especially by trying to convince the Spanish court to adopt a more humane policy of colonization. And although he failed to save the indigenous peoples of the Western Indies, his efforts resulted in several improvements in the legal status of the natives, and in an increased colonial focus on the ethics of colonialism. Las Casas is often seen as one of the first advocates for universal conception 

The cruelty of Europeans in those dark times, including Christopher Columbus, was no greater than among peoples everywhere.  In the Americas, the Aztecs slaughtered and oppressed rival tribes, which is is why some groups of people welcomed the Spanish when they arrived. The great institutions of democratic government, freedom of speech, religious tolerance and the rule of law were largely not found in indigenous America. They were brought to this continent (or developed here later) by Europeans.

From the Desk of Joan Korenblit, 
Executive Director, Respect Diversity Foundation,
 The indigenous resistance that has never ceased these five centuries and some continues in spite of a brutal repression and now all of us of the cosmic race, of pure necessity, must align ourselves with their struggle, for that struggle is ours if we are to survive on the Earth, holy mother of our race, the human race - and of all our relations, the other animals, the plants, the minerals. On the round, seamless Earth all borders are fictitious and what threatens one threatens all. To think otherwise is not only immoral but insane.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Million Youth Peace March, Washington - Youth Action March OKC Connected

The Million Youth Peace March International's mission is

  • To rid bullying and violence by developing Youth Peace Ambassadors who inspire "World Peace" & Unconditional Love

  • To restore hope & confidence within the family, and to prepare our youth through education and  economic empowerment

  • To bridge the gap between our youth, their communities and their leaders who pledge to serve and protect them. Check more HERE

This was completely planned & organized by youth, for youth. This was a nationwide event that OKC supported. The March intended to turn political hopelessness into political empowerment. "No matter your age, you have a tremendous ability to move your city, your state, and your country in a more inclusive and forward-looking direction - whether by engaging our government or working with non-governmental organizations."  

The Youth Action March was a chance to stand up for what you believe in, send a strong signal to local, state, and federal government, and most importantly, take critical steps to getting involved with real action that can change your community.  

The Youth Action March brought together people who want to work toward a better society and organizations that need your help to keep fighting for change.  Milley V.'18 was one of the program organizers and Luke A.'18 was a featured speaker  Luke is the President of the Casady Chapter of Youth and Government and Milley is with You Go Girl

You Go Girl, an online publication dedicated to promoting female empowerment, educational autonomy,political actuality, exploration of personal and social identity through writing visual arts performance art.  Contact

Cyclones at the Youth Action March

Saturday was a splash of hope in my face in what seems like a hurricane of horrid events these days. The day helped remind me how many incredible young people are out there and ready to fight for the future. We will never be alone in our quest for a better state, country, and world. I'm so excited to see my generation's women leap over the obstacles and take charge in these efforts. Though the present might seem bleak, if you squint your eyes, you can see a future brighter than a billion suns, and I can't wait. :)



Teens spoke on behalf of personal causes such as DACA, provided Oklahoma statistics on women's issues such as leadership in the political process, teenage pregnancy, domestic abuse, and human trafficking rates in OKC.  The Native American teen speakers made us think about our adherence to Columbus Day, certain Halloween costumes, and names of football teams, as well as the "Native American" identity significance of the land run.  The messages, coming from youth committed voices to social change and economic justice, were very powerful.    


Cyclone facilitated art exhibit

Friday, October 6, 2017

The Coolidge Scholarship

The Coolidge Scholarship is a full-ride, four-year, merit scholarship that may be used by recipients for undergraduate study at any accredited college or university in the United States. Any high school junior who plans on enrolling in college in the fall of 2019 and is an American citizen or legal permanent resident is eligible to apply (unfortunately current high school seniors are not eligible to apply).

Coolidge Scholars are selected primarily on academic excellence. Secondary criteria include: an interest in public policy, an appreciation for the values President Coolidge championed, humility, and service. 

The competition for the Coolidge Scholarship is indeed significant -- but even students who do not win have reported to us they are glad they went through the application process because it helps prepare them for college application later on. The Coolidge Foundation also invites the top 45-50 applicants to participate in its Coolidge Senators Program, which includes an all-expenses-paid Summit in Washington, DC where the students have the chance to meet each other and tour all three branches of government. Furthermore, the finalists who are invited to interview for the scholarship but do not ultimately win are eligible to receive a one-time “Finalist Award” scholarship.

If you know any students who would make a strong candidate, we hope that you will encourage them to apply. The scholarship application, along with additional information, can be accessed on our scholarship site: Please note the deadline is 5:00 PM ESTJanuary 24, 2018*. If you have any questions regarding the scholarship, the Coolidge Scholars Program can be reached by email at or by phone at (802) 672-3389 ext. 114.

With kind regards,

Matthew Denhart                                     Rob Hammer
Executive Director                                   Program Manager

The scholarship deadline is 5:00 PM ESTJanuary 24, 2018.  

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

International Day of Peace 2017, From Drone View

Special thanks to Mr. Marshall Palmer for the video of Peace Day and to Mr. Mark Coate for the Peace Sign in front of chapel.

Special thanks to Mr. Curt Foster for the video about Peace Week 2017

Click HERE to see details of UD Peace Week 2017

Friday, September 22, 2017

MD SEE Period & Facing Difference Students Rebuild 2017 Challenge


The seventh and eighth graders enjoyed SEE Period at Andrew Johnson Elementary. They did partner reading and played Dolch sight word games with primary students at AndrewJohnson Elementary. Memories of SEE Period at Andrew Johnson HERE.

In the afternoon, a group of eighth graders had their SEE Period at Our Spot Head Start Program.   

Learning about Our Spot Head Start Program

The 8th-grade kids were prepared to use Dr. Javier Carrasco Literacy Lab Activities at Our Spot. Cyclones joined the children during their snack time and did activities to get to know each other.  Some Cyclones shared parts of Dr. Carrasco's Literacy Lab Activities.

Spelling our names game

The goal of this first visit was to get to know each other. 

The 8th-grade teachers supervising the activity stated that the SEE Period at Our Spot went very well. All involved enjoyed their time together.  

Facing Difference Students Rebuild Challenge Unveilled

On Peace Day, September 21, 2017, Students Rebuild unveiled its FACING DIFFERENCE CHALLENGE.

Students Rebuild is partnering with CARE and Search for Common Ground to support young people around the world in planting seeds of peace through facing, engaging, and celebrating our differences.

Why facing difference? Let’s be honest—facing difference can be hard. Whether it’s as simple as engaging across the generational lines or as deeply rooted as different faith beliefs and cultural values, it can be easiest to turn away from things that may challenge our views and simply “face” things that are familiar.

When we look around the world today, many of the challenges both big and small—from kids being isolated at school to some of the violent protests that happened this summer around the United States—stem from the inability to effectively engage people and ideas different from our own.

Cyclones are invited to consider their own identity and how they can act as peace-makers in Oklahoma City. They’ll also be supporting young people working towards peace in conflict areas in Nigeria, Sri Lanka, and in the South Caucasus region.

To support Cyclones learning through this Challenge,  Students Rebuild Challenge is providing educational resources to deepen understanding. There are new Project Based Learning Units from the Buck Institute of Education, a new virtual reality experience and increased virtual exchange conversations from Global Nomads Group (coming October 1st), and that’s just the beginning! 

Upper Division Casady Service Learning and Students Rebuild Challenge invite Oklahoma City Youth to make a highly personal piece of art, a self-portrait  The Bezos Foundation will match $3—largest match to date.  Since 2010, when Students Rebuild began, they have believed in the power of young people to make the world a better place. This year’s Challenge represents the “face” of who we are at our best—a community of hundreds of thousands who are doing what they can to create positive change and build peace.

For the past three years, the Casady Service-Learning Program has undertaken the Students Rebuild Challenge as its Global Youth Service Day Project.  The first year, sophomore Ananya Bhaktaram brought the literacy challenge to YAC (Youth Active in the Community).  YAC sent over 7,000 bookmarks and provided funding for literacy programs in Peru and Indonesia.  Ananya connected to her Temple, family, friends and Boys and Girls Club at Memorial Park.  Casady Cyclones were featured in the Global Nomands teleconference with Peru and had the opportunity to see the bookmarks delivered to the children in Andahuaylas, Peru.  

In 2015, Cyclones Mallory W. and Gabrielle M. facilitated the Healing Classroom Challenge making 600 pinwheels in collaboration with Boys and Girls Club at Memorial Park which supported Syrian Youth Refugee healing programs.  

The Healing Classroom Pinwheel Exhibit at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles is an interactive installation of the youth-made pinwheels that were donated to support Syrian children learn, heal, and grow through the Students Rebuild Healing Classrooms challenge. For every handmade pinwheel mailed, the Bezos Family Foundation donated $2 – totaling $400,000 – to support the International Rescue Committee’s Healing Classrooms program. For Syrian children, Healing Classrooms provides a secure, nurturing environment that helps them learn, heal, and grow. 

To generate more awareness, a group of students at Montlake Elementary School in Seattle, Washington, designed this interactive museum installation in the spring of 2017 using pinwheels submitted for the Challenge.

Image may contain: indoorNo automatic alt text available.

In 2016, Gabrielle and Mallory facilitated the Youth Uplift Challenge. 3,000 decorated hands, a resulting collaboration with YAC, Boys and Girls Club at Memorial Park and Oklahoma Centennial High School, Consumer Science and Technology Class were mailed in April 2016. The hands were match with funding to provide training for youth in Indonesia and Nicaragua.  Check out the Student Impact Report for the Youth Uplift Challenge!

This summer, Students Rebuild partnered with DEC artists and L.A.-based street artist Teachr to host Youth Uplift L.A., where Teachr showcased a unique and interactive art piece featuring the creative, colorful, and thoughtful hands!