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Pinwheels for Peace at Lakeland schools


In today’s world, peace needs to become more than just a word. On Friday, Sept. 21, the student body at Lima-Brighton Ele-mentary, Wolcott Mills Ele-mentary, Parkside Elementary, and Lakeland Middle School and art students at Lakeland High School plan to take part in an international art and literacy project, “Pinwheels for Peace,” by “planting” pinwheels with messages of peace at schools in the Lakeland corporation.

Pinwheels for Peaceis 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 what’s going on in the world and in their lives. In the first year, groups in over 1,325 locations throughout the world were spinning pinwheels on Sept. 21 – there were approximately 500,000 pin-wheels spinning throughout the world. Last year over four million pinwheels were spinning in over 3,500 locations, including the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia, Canada, the Middle East, Africa and South America.

Locally, Lakeland School Corporation art teachers Kay Beams, Beth Each, Terry Gust, Mary Woodworth and Amy Whited along with the LMS Student Council will be coordi-nating the Pinwheels for Peace project this year.

This project is non-political – peace doesn’t necessarily have to be associated with the conflict of war, it can be related to violence/ intolerance in our daily lives, to peace of mind. 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.”

Lakeland School Corporation students will create pinwheels of all shapes and sizes. As part of the creation process, the students will write their thoughts about "war and peace/tolerance/living in harmony with others" on one side. On the other side, they will draw, paint, collage, etc. to visually express their feelings. The students will assemble the pinwheels and on International Day of Peace they will "plant" their pinwheels in their school-yards as a public statement and art exhibit/installation.