Please help us spread the word about the Pinwheels for Peace Project
for International Day of Peace, September 21st 2006.
The website, http://www.pinwheelsforpeace.com has been updated and
we're starting to add participants to our map as they join (or re-
join). This year, we have an official song that was written and
recorded by a former student - when you hear it, you'll agree that it
definitely captures the spirit of the project! For those who wanted
t-shirts and posters, they're also ready to order. The site also has
a discussion board to share ideas, pinwheel directions and a template
for making pinwheels.
For those new to the project, here is a brief description:
Today’s students are bombarded with television images, video games,
and magazine articles/newspapers that give importance to conflict and
war. Violence has become commonplace and accepted as part of our
society and, for some students, it is a way of life. It is our hope
that through the Pinwheels for Peace project, we can help the
students make a public visual statement about their feelings about
war/ peace/ tolerance/ cooperation/ harmony/ unity and, in some way,
maybe, awaken the public and let them know what the next generation
This is not 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.
A pinwheel is a childhood symbol – it reminds us of a time when
things were simple, joyful, peaceful. A pinwheel is easily made using
just about any type of material, from copy paper, to thin plastic, to
lightweight metal. The stick of the pinwheel can be as simple as a
pencil or as intricate as a carved stick or metal rod. Pinwheels can
be made as small as one inch in diameter or as large as desired –
limited only by the creator’s materials and motivation. Pinwheels can
be minimal or very complex – imagination, creativity (and a mild
breeze) are the only variables needed.
Students will create pinwheels, 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. The writing can be poetry, prose, haiku, or
essay-style – whatever writing form is appropriate as the children
express themselves. On the other side, the students will draw, paint,
collage, etc. to visually express their feelings. They will assemble
these pinwheels and on International Day of Peace, Sept. 21, 2006,
everyone will "plant" their pinwheels outside (at the schools,
museum, public places, etc.) as a public statement and art exhibit/
installation. The spinning of the pinwheels in the wind will spread
thoughts and feelings about peace throughout the country, the world!
Last year, we estimate that over a half-million pinwheels were
spinning in over 1,350 locations throughout the world! This year
we're hoping for even more!
Please join us in our quest for "whirled peace!" Please let us know
if you have any questions or suggestions!
Ann Ayers & Ellen McMillan
Monarch High School
Coconut Creek, FL