Sixth Annual Celebration of Light Draws Crowd for One Tree


Virginia Dearani, Founder and Execudtive Director of One Tree at Today’s Celebration of Light.

Symbols of Hindu Festival of Lights at One Tree Celebration Today.

“Peace, Pluraism and Parternship” – Goals of the Nine Member One Tree Staff.

Nadia Jackson, a/k/a Medicine Woman, at Todays Celebration.

Gina Forbes, in the White in the Back Row, Reads to Some of the Pre-Schoolers. She’s the Preschool Director and Lives on the West End of Portland.

Storytelling, arts & crafts, food  and a silent auction were part of the 6th annual Season of Light Celebration hosted by One Tree, a wholistic learning center, this afternoon at Rines Auditorium, at the Portland Public Library.  It was a community outreach event as well as a fund raiser for the twelve year old program.

One Tree is a comprehensive program that seeks to nurture cultural inclusiveness and social justice through its pre-school program; Roots & Fruits. Currently there are thirty-seven students enrolled in its South Portland program.  One Tree also has a training component, Seeds Institute and a Community Branches program.

Virginia Dearani, founder and ExecutiveDirector,  believes that it is necessary to reach children early in life – as early as preschool – to nurture cultural inclusiveness that will give them a good foundation for the rest of their lives.  Dearani formerly worked with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.  Her Master’s Degree is in Psychology and Education.

Nadia Jackson, is the Assistant Director of the pre-school program – Roots & Fruits. Part Arapaho Native American, she helps youngsters find peace and love within themselves. Youngsters meditate five minutes every day.  She helps them become connected to the earth and to “sit with nature.”  A native of New Orleans, she has been in Maine for many years now. (See above left photo.)

For more background information on One Tree, please visit