JFS students wish for 'whirled peace'

'whirled peace'
Posted on 09/21/2012
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Young students of John Fenwick School wish for 'whirled peace'

Published: Friday, September 21, 2012, 9:45 PM

SALEM — Young students participating in the International Day of Peace celebration on Friday expressed the importance of everyone getting along and made this statement by holding pinwheels up high.

Smiling kids decorated pinwheels in an effort to imagine “whirled peace” in front of John Fenwick Elementary School.

During their art class period, children at the school decorated their pinwheels and on Friday afternoon they spoke about what peace means to them, project coordinator Rebekah Cohen said.

For the sixth consecutive year, the school participated in the positive event, putting its pinwheels on display and voicing positive messages.

“We are the World,” by Michael Jackson, echoed through the front yard of the school while students lined up waiting for the selected speakers.

Some danced while waving the pinwheels and others laughed and talked about what peace means to them.

“It means being nice and respecting your parents,” Tamya Driver, 5, said. She smiled and added that she loved her parents.

For Lamaja Cooper, 6, being nice to other people meant peace. Cooper showed off her pinwheel decorated with hearts.

“I love hearts,” she said.

Trystin Adkins, 6, revealed her pinwheel embellished with flowers and pictures of who she said were her friends.

“What peace means to me is friendship and love,” Adkins said.

The entire student body, along with other townships in the county including Oldmans andMannington, participated in the international event, joining more than 3,500 other locations.

Last year, more than four million pinwheels were spinning throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia, Canada, the Middle East, Africa and South America, according to a press release.

“My peace is all about being quiet. I like being under trees reading a good book,” student Tanihyah Green, 7, shared with her classmates.

The non-political project, Pinwheels for Peace, was an art project that was created in 2005 by art teachers, Ann Ayers and Ellen McMillian of Coconut Creek, Fla., to allow students to express their feelings regarding the world and their lives.

“That’s the key initiative. I think the earlier our kids recognize it, the more they can put it into play and they can remember as they get older. Most things we learn early on and carry throughout life,” Principal Syeda L. Woods said.

Karen Wright, school counselor, encouraged each student to get along and be nice to each other.

Nathan Oliver, 7, shared about what is peace him.

“When I climb up in a tree, I have a favorite climbing tree. That is my peace,” he said.

After each selected student read the essays, the students were lead in a “peace” cheer and sent the entire student body home with high spirits.

For more information, go to www.pinwheelsforpeace.com.