Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Students Plant Pinwheels, Whirl For Peace

Published October 5, 2006

St. John the Evangelist School held a prayer service for peace in their hearts and in the world on Sept. 21 as part of an international art and literacy project called Pinwheels for Peace, where they planted pinwheels with messages of peace near the school’s entrance.

During the service on the International Day of Peace, each grade said a prayer that they as a class had written and recited a pledge of nonviolence. At the end of the service each class carried the pinwheels they made outside to plant them around a “peace tree” near the school’s entrance.

The students, under the direction of art teacher Angela Bush, created pinwheels of all shapes and sizes and wrote a prayer or words of peace on one side and decorated the other side to visually express their feelings.

Pinwheels for Peace is an art installation project started in 2005 by art teachers Ann Ayers and Ellen McMillan of Coconut Creek, Fla., as a way for students to express their feelings about what is going on in the world and their lives. Violence has become commonplace and accepted as part of our society and, for some students, it is a way of life. The goal of the project designers is for Pinwheels for Peace to help students make a public visual statement about their feelings about war, peace, tolerance, cooperation, harmony, or unity and awaken the public to what the next generation is thinking. The project is not political and can be related to violence/intolerance in daily life and to peace of mind.

St. John the Evangelist gladly joined in this whirlwind of creativity and hope, as Catholic students are called to cultivate peace within themselves and promote peace in the world. Last year groups in over 1,325 locations throughout the world participated on Sept. 21, and there were approximately 500,000 pinwheels spinning throughout the world. This year there were approximately 1 million that “whirled peace” in some 2,400 locations worldwide. Bush is the coordinator for the local Pinwheels for Peace Project.


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