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Today's Family Magazine

St. Gabriel School creates and displays messages of peace

Sep 29, 2017 02:35PM
In today’s world, peace needs to become more than just a word.  On September 20, 2017, St. Gabriel School and Learning Loft Preschool of Concord took part in an international art and literacy project, Pinwheels for Peace by “planting” pinwheels with messages of peace at the St. Gabriel campus.

Pinwheels for Peace is an art installation project started in 2005 by two art teachers, Ann Ayers and Ellen McMillan, of Coconut Creek, Florida, 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 September 21 - there were approximately 500,000 pinwheels spinning throughout the world. Last year (year 10), 2014, over 4.5 million pinwheels were spinning in over 3,500 locations, including the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia, Canada, the Middle East, Africa and South America.

This project is nonpolitical – 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.”

Led by Mrs. Erin Delventhal, art teacher, St. Gabriel  created pinwheels, pinwheels of all shapes and sizes – as part of the creation process, the entire student body ( Jr. K-grade 8) decorated and wrote their thoughts about "war and peace / tolerance/ living in harmony with others" on one side. On the other side, they will drew, painted, collaged, etc. to visually express their feelings. The students assembled these pinwheels with upcycled materials and on International Day of Peace they “planted” their pinwheels on the school campus as a public statement and art exhibit/installation. Mrs. Christine Horne, STEM Coordinator, guided students through problem solving to spell out PEACE in geometric terms across the lawn to display the pinwheels and the construction as well.  Andrea Karpuszka, music director, also taught the entire student body A Song of Peace which they sang afterwards at Mass.

The pinwheels were on display for the rest of the week.

For more information, go to http://www.pinwheelsforpeace.com or contact 
Alicia Henrikson, St. Gabriel School at [email protected]