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Everyday Spirituality

Everyday Spirituality

Manhattan Country School

Sounds like a misnomer, Manhattan Country School.

Manhattan, New York, is home to over 1.6 million people. Where’s the country?

For over 45 years, the Independent, Manhattan Country School (MCS), has been teaching students social awareness while promoting academic excellence. They meet regularly in Manhattan, but also attend school at a 180 acre farm in Delaware County, upstate New York.

The MCS chickens that produce dozens of eggs daily

The MCS chickens that produce dozens of eggs daily

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I had the opportunity to interview the Farm Director, Ginny Scheer, who will be retiring after 40 years on the farm.

“The children learn and experience sustainable living,” said Scheer. “They learn about textiles, how to care for animals, and how to grow a garden.”

The MCS is replete with solar panels, a green house, an old farmhouse converted into a school room and housing, and large barns. The students participate in milking cows, cleaning stalls, making maple syrup, and a host of other activities.

A vision of future leaders inspired to champion justice, compassion, peace, and equal rights is promoted at MCS. The school was established to reflect the Civil rights movement.

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Students have built on these words of Martin Luther King Jr., “We have come to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is not time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.”

From 21st Century Science and Health, “Character development should be strongly fortified with virtue. It is not so much academic education, as an ethical and spiritual learning which improves the character of the audience. The pure and uplifting thoughts of teachers, instructors, and speakers, constantly imparted to pupils, reach higher than the heavens of astronomy.”

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