Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pinwheels for Peace

Can we still give peace a chance? Hundreds of Spring Branch ISD students created art pinwheels recently to make a big campus statement about the ongoing violence, hate and madness that dominates local and international headlines these days.

On Friday, Sept. 19, about 660 students at Woodview Elementary School and hundreds more at Buffalo Creek Elementary joined tens of thousands of youth nationwide in observing the annual United Nations International Day of Peace.

The day was officially observed on Sunday, Sept. 21. Students took part in a pinwheel art installation known as Pinwheels for Peace. The program was started up a decade ago by two art teachers in Florida to express their wish for world peace and to partner with “Peace One Day,” an international day of cease fire and nonviolence that began 15 years ago.

In 2007, Peace One Day focused on Afghanistan to help support health and life-saving actions. A Sept. 21 ceasefire there allowed U.N. agencies and Afghanistan officials to give polio vaccines to 1.4 million children in several areas. Just one year later on Peace Day 2008, the U.N. announced a 70 percent reduction in violence in Afghanistan.

At Woodview Elementary, students watched a short video about Peace One Day. Students also listened to school announcements about kindness, the Golden Rule, teasing, gossiping and bullying, character, conflict resolution and making choices.

During the Pinwheels for Peace program, some students and staff dressed in 1960s-style outfits and they sang peace songs. At Woodview Elementary, art teacher Kathy Frith, music teacher Kathy Rains and health fitness instructor Chad Evetts collaborated on the project.

The Buffalo Creek Elementary project was led by art teacher Mary Buys and counselor Becky Zech-Stephenson. Pinwheels were placed on the school's front lawn.


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