Amazing Peace: FCS Students Receive Maya Angelou Quarters
Last week every FCS student and staff member went home with a brand new Maya Angelou quarter. The quarters were a gift from June Confer, a lifelong supporter of the school and admirer of the poet. She explained that the idea to share these quarters with FCS came to her almost as soon as the new design was announced. “I thought, well, a quarter isn’t very much, but it is a reminder of the creativity, grit, and love that Maya Angelou’s work speaks to me. And it is a thank you for the gift that diversity brings to the school.”
The quarters are attached to bookmarks featuring an excerpt from “Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem” by Angelou.
Hope is born again in the faces of children
It rides on the shoulders of our aged as they walk into their sunsets.
Hope spreads around the earth. Brightening all things,
Even hate which crouches breeding in dark corridors.
In our joy, we think we hear a whisper.
At first it is too soft. Then only half heard.
We listen carefully as it gathers strength.
We hear a sweetness.
The word is Peace.
Much like the first line of this excerpt, June has watched hope born in the faces of children at FCS since its founding. She shared that it has been a joy to watch the diversity of the school grow, and she wanted to find a way to celebrate that in words and with a keepsake students could hold onto.
Getting the coins was not easy. The US Mint released a limited number, many bought by coin dealers in bulk amounts. June found an eBay seller of the commemorative quarters, only to fall short when non-Maya Angelou coins were included. Thanks to friends, the last few needed were located. June spent a long evening taping the hard-won coins to bookmark cards printed by the school. She was thrilled to have them ready to share on a week when Black History Month ended and Women’s History Month began.
June’s Quakerism has driven all she has done in her adult life and fuels much of her care for the school. In this project she saw an outward expression of the Quaker belief that there is that of God in everyone - the acknowledgement of which leads to peace. As she has watched hundreds of people come through FCS over the years, she sees it as a place where people are invited to “recognize the gifts that each and every person brings whether they are students or staff, parents or maintenance workers. Every single person who comes into the building is a human being who offers themselves as a gift to the community and we need to recognize and respect that.”