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Pinwheels for Peace Day

CHESTERTOWN Youve probably seen the bumper stickers that say Whirled Peas. Well, North Warren students are taking that humorous sentiment seriously.

The students are taking part in an international art and literacy project on Sept. 21, called Pinwheels for Peace, where pinwheels with messages of peace will be placed along Route 8 in front of the school.

Pinwheels for Peace is an art installation project started in 2005 by two Florida art teachers, Ann Ayers and Ellen McMillan, of Coconut Creek. They wanted to find a way for students to express their feelings about whats going on in the world and in their lives.

In 2005, groups in over 1,325 locations throughout the world were spinning about 500,000 pinwheels on Sept. 21.Last year, over 1 million pinwheels were spinning in over 2,350 locations, including the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia, Canada, the Middle East, Africa and South America. North Warren Elementary Art Teacher Phyllis Brown will be coordinating the Pinwheels for Peace project this year.

Brown said the project is non-political, that peace isnt necessarily associated with war, but related also to violence and intolerance at home. Peace can take on different meanings for different people, but by definition, is a state of serenity with no anxiety, the absence of violence, freedom from conflict or disagreement among people.

North Warren elementary students will create pinwheels of varying sizes using a variety of materials. As part of the creation process, the children will write their thoughts about peace, tolerance and living in harmony with others on one side. On the other side, they will draw, paint or collage to visually express their feelings. The students will assemble these pinwheels and on the International Day of Peace, they will plant them as a public statement and art exhibit for cars to see as they drive by the front of the school property.

On Sept. 21, the spinning of the pinwheels in the wind will spread thoughts and feelings about peace throughout the country and the world.

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