Pinwheels for Peace

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On September 20, 2013, Frank P. Long Intermediate School of Bellport, New York, participated in an International art and literacy project, Pinwheels for Peace, by “planting” pinwheels with messages of peace at our school.

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 21st - there were approximately 500,000 pinwheels spinning throughout the world. Last year (year 8), 2012, over 4 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 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.”

Our students created pinwheels of all shapes and sizes – as part of the creation process, the students,  indicated their thoughts about "war and peace / tolerance/ living in harmony with others" on one side. On the other side, they visually expressed their feelings by drawing, painting, etc. On Friday, September 20, 2013, the students and staff assembled these pinwheels and "planted" them at Frank P. Long Intermediate School as a public statement and art exhibit/installation.