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Miller Heights Elementary Students Plant Pinwheels for Peace
Adorned with colorful pictures and words of kindness, dozens of paper windmills spin in the breeze in front of Miller Heights Elementary School.
The field of pinwheels was planted by students participating in an international art and literacy project, “Pinwheels for Peace,” as part of International Day of Peace on Friday, September 20.
“We talked today about kindness, what it means to have peace and why that’s good,” said third-grade teacher Jaime Ferguson before her students planted their windmills. “And as we plant these, I want us to remember it is International Day of Peace and what it means.”
Third-grader Hope Norman was excited about creating her project, saying “I really enjoyed coloring and making my pinwheel.”
Norman’s classmate, eight-year-old Leilani Perez also enjoyed being creative. “I made it with markers and scissors, and I put a heart and some colors,” she said.
Pinwheels for Peace is a world-wide event, where more than four million people over the world celebrate peace and the possibility for peace. Students write their thoughts about war and peace, as well as tolerance and living in harmony with others, on one side; on the other side, they draw, paint or collage to visually express their feelings.
“It was a good way for them to reflect on how they could be peaceful and how to have peaceful actions at school, in the community, and at home,” said Counselor Munirah Tarver about the project which also fits into broader social-emotional learning lessons. “We want them to be agents of peace, so they get an understanding of themselves as people who can create peace in the world.”
The project is non-political, where peace takes on a different meaning. Peace is discussed as freedom from conflict or disagreement among people or groups of people.
When asked what peace means to them, third-grader Nova Shynne Maruna replied, “It’s being kind and helpful,” and Hope Norman said, “It means that you’re having peace by being respectful. Being respectful lets people be friends.”
The spinning of the pinwheels in the wind are meant to symbolically spread thoughts and feelings about peace throughout the country and the world.
And for third-grader Leilani Perez, she’s glad to help spread that message here in Belton ISD. “When people come by Miller Heights, I think it will make them feel happy because kids can find their windmills and make their parents happy because they got to make something.”
September 24, 2019