Long Island , New York , USA Progressive School of Long Island
October 11 marked the opening day ribbon cutting ceremony for Progressive School of Long Island’s new NHE middle school. The event was attended by 200 people including NY State Senator Charles Fuschillo, NY State Assemblyman David McDonough, Nassau County Legislator Dave Denenberg, Sectorial Secretary Dada Tiirthananda, and several newspapers. During the ceremony, Fuschillo announced a $10,000 grant, and Denenberg offered a written citation from the Nassau County Legislature for over 20 years of the school’s service to the community. After an inside tour, Dada Tiirthananda stated that the NHE facility was the finest he has seen in the entire world, including India . Here is a transcript of the dedication portion of the ceremony delivered by Eric Jacobson, the school’s Director:
“Countless times over the past 21 years I have been thanked for starting Progressive School of Long Island. Each time, I internally offered those thanks to Prabhat Rainjan Sarkar, the author of Neo-Humanist Education. The truth is that it was he who trained me, it was his philosophy which inspired me, and it was he who forced me into starting this school. He actual words were, “You must start 1000 schools.” I’m counting this as number two. In the end it was also he who encouraged me when things looked bleakest. Prabhat Rainjan Sarkar was a totally unique personality. I never knew anyone like him before we met, and have never met anyone like him since. So, I tried to imagine what he might say to us if he were here today. Though he was entirely unpredictable, it might have gone something like this:
“May all the young people who pass through these doors find the inspiration, the will, and the requisite knowledge to serve every entity of the entire universe.” As you can see, Sarkar was never one for understatement.
During the last 8 years of his life, he began composing songs. When he died in 1990, the number was 5018. Three of those songs were in English, and one of those three many of you know. You call it Tiny Green Island , but the real title is song # 68. Please sing it with me if you know it. (Collective singing of song 68 and Baba Nam Kevalam followed).
On your right, under the little art room window there is an empty triangular plot. There you students will create a sculpture garden. In the garden we will place a permanent plaque with this quote: “This Neohumanism will elevate humanism to universalism, love for all created beings of this universe.” So, to that ideal, to the memory and in honor of the work of P. R. Sarkar, I hereby dedicate this building.