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Apollo Beach Students call for Peace

September 22, 2017 - Student Success

World peace may seem like a heavy subject for elementary school students, but on Thursday, kids at Apollo Beach Elementary School embraced the International Day of Peace with their annual “Pinwheels for Peace” art project.  It symbolizes how they feel about peace within their world – in their school and neighborhood.

Kids crafted the colorful pinwheels in class, then each student “planted” their work of art in the front lawn of the school outlining a giant peace symbol.

“We’re doing Pinwheels for Peace to show that our school is a very peaceful school,” said Abigail, a third-grade student.

This was art teacher Margit Redlawsk’s 17th year organizing the effort.

“It’s making a statement about peace.  Not so much about war, but having good character in school and hopefully filtering out into the neighborhoods and the world,” said Redlawsk. “They learn a lot about tolerance and acceptance: accepting others if they believe in something different or look differently than you. It’s important that we all get along. We’re a National School of Character, so treating each other kindly is really important to us.”

Pinwheels for Peace is an art installation project started in 2005 by two art teachers in Coconut Creek, Florida, as a way for their students to express their feelings about what’s going on in the world and in their lives. The project quickly caught on and is now supported by millions of teachers, parents, and kids across the country and around the world.

International Day of Peace was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2001. September 21 is a day people around the world observe a period of non-violence and ceasefire.

Students hope to spread their message of peace to people driving by the display. “Anybody would see that and anywhere they go show peace to one another,” said Jackson, a third-grade student. “We want the world to have peace, so nobody gets hurt.”

“They’ll see the kids are participating in this event and hopefully take away from it that maybe I need to be nicer to my neighbor and get along with the people around me,” said Redlawsk.

The school only displays the paper pinwheels for the day, but will participate in the project again next year on September 21, the International Day of Peace.

Students also take home their pinwheels to share the meaning with neighbors.

“It makes me feel awesome. I feel like I’m making a difference with the kids,” said Redlawsk.

Click here to learn more about the Pinwheels for Peace project. 

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