CULTURAL BELIEFS & RELIGION
Organic Beginnings is an inclusive community. Everyone is welcomed here; diversity is encouraged. We are not merely a tolerant community, rather we embrace whole-heartedly those who are different than us.
Our curriculum includes learning about cultures whose origins stem from different world religions. As a school we do not have a religion of preference and celebrate many holidays from many religions. If your family is not comfortable with this practice, we would encourage you to seek a school that is more in alignment with your preferences.
We do not exclude children from certain activities based on religious preferences and expect all families who choose this school to be open-minded and inclusive in your thinking, behavior and goodwill towards others. We are in no way implying that any religion is not valid. We do believe firmly and deeply, however, that children learn by example and what all of our children need to learn is a deep respect for all other peoples and their religions. If they are excluded from participating, we further confirm to the entire class that separation is the path. We fundamentally disagree with this message and believe deeply and fully that inclusion is the path of healing.
As a sustainability focused school, it is also our belief that war is the most unsustainable worldwide practice to date. And we know that the majority of wars on the planet have been fought and are fighting over religious beliefs. It is our intent to shift the mentality of "Us vs. Them" to one of inclusion and celebrating what connects us. All major world religions have beautiful stories and beautiful customs and beautiful messages of love and connection. That is where we will place our focus. As adults we are well aware of the dark side of all religions, but that will remain untold at this point for the children. Our focus will solely be on the light side so that a deep respect and fondness of that religion through the culture it represents can live within each child. As humans we are much less likely to attack that which we love and respect. It is only by teaching children separation that they begin to live it.
We will not be teaching any religions specifically, but they will come through stories from certain countries. When we study Japan for example, we will read stories that come from Buddhism. When we study Iran, we will be working with Islamic art, stories and ideas. They may learn that it states in the Quoran that while visiting a public garden you may eat fruits from the trees until your own stomach is satisfied, but not to pick more to save it for later. So your child might tell you things that are said in the Quoran, the Bible or the Bhaghavad Gita, but they will be things related their lives in practical form- how to treat people, gardening, food preparation, etc. None of these things will be taught with a preference for which is right, but will simply be presented as ideas to ponder or consider.
No judgments of right or wrong will be made by the teachers and no concepts too big will be given. Ideas of sinning, the after life, punishment ,or wrath of God will not be explored. Words they may hear from within the context of stories: God, Gods, Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Mohammad and other religious characters.
Teachers do not give personal information from their own lives or preferences on these subjects.