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Students hope for 'whirled' peace

POSTED: September 14, 2011 7:00 p.m.

Waldo Pafford Elementary School will take part in an international art and literacy project, Pinwheels for Peace, on Sept. 21 by planting pinwheels with messages of peace in the school’s front lawn.
Pinwheels for Peace is an art-installation project started in 2005 by two art teachers, Ann Ayers and Ellen McMillan of Coconut Creek, Fla., as a way for students to express their feelings about events occurring in the world and in their lives.
In the first year, groups in more than 1,325 locations throughout the world were spinning pinwheels Sept. 21 — there were approximately 500,000 pinwheels spinning throughout the world.
In 2010, more than 3.5 million pinwheels were spinning in more than 3,500 locations, including the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, South America and Australia.
Locally, Carol Ann Hough, the visual arts teacher at WPE, will coordinate the Pinwheels for Peace project this year.
This project is nonpolitical. Peace doesn’t necessarily have to be associated with the conflict of war. It can be related to violence or intolerance in our daily lives and to peace of mind, according to those involved with the project.
To each of us, peace can take on a different meaning, but, in the end, it all comes down to a simple definition: “a state of calm and serenity, with no anxiety; the absence of violence; freedom from conflict or disagreement among people or groups of people,” Hough said.
The students at Waldo Pafford will create pinwheels of all shapes and sizes as part of the process.
On one side, the students will write their thoughts about war and peace, tolerance and living in harmony with others. On the other side, they will draw, paint, collage, etc., to visually express their feelings.
On International Day of Peace, they will plant their pinwheels on the front lawn of the school as a public statement and art exhibit/installation.
On Sept. 21, keep a lookout for the pinwheels. The project is designed to spread thoughts and feelings about peace throughout the country and the world.
For more information, go to www.pinwheelsforpeace.com.

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