Saturday, September 12, 2015



September is such a great and fun month for art!  Our artist of the month, whose birthday falls in September is Louise Nevelson and in the past- the students have made awesome found object relief collages or JUNK art.  This year with Dot day AND the Pinwheels for Peace, I just don't think we will have time!!!  I wanted to share with you some of the awesome things we have been able to do as a school for the Pinwheels for Peace project, which has become somewhat of a tradition for us. 

I first learned about the Pinwheels for Peace project at the Florida Art Education Association conference several years ago.  This art installation project started in 2005 by Ann Ayers and Ellen McMillan, who were art teachers at Monarch High School 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 is celebrated on the International Day of Peace which is September 21st, (10 days after the anniversary of 9/11).

The International Day of Peace, sometimes unofficially known as World Peace Day, is observed annually on 21 September. It is dedicated to world peace, and specifically the absence of war and violence, such as might be occasioned by a temporary ceasefire in a combat zone for humanitarian aid access. The day was first celebrated in 1982, and is kept by many nations, political groups, military groups, and peoples. In 2013, for the first time, the Day was dedicated by the Secretary-General of the United Nations to peace education, the key preventive means to reduce war sustainably.(Wikipedia) 
For every year since our school has been opened, (2012) all of the students have made a pinwheel for peace during art.  I store them all until the day before the art installation event which consists of a Pinwheel Parade in the morning, where all the students wear white and we march by class out to the soccer or PE field outside our school to form a giant symbol of peace. All the students need to make a pinwheel is a square piece of paper, a push pin, and a pencil. 
 I ask that students try to draw at least four symbols of peace or four elements of art.  Ideally, both sides should be colored/drawn but for the sake of time, some students are only able to complete one side.  
The day before or the morning of the Day of Peace- I have tried to mark the general shape so that classes will know where to stand.  The music teacher teaches them all a great song of Peace during music.  So once on the field, we use the bull horn to announce the start of the ceremony.  This involves the singing of the National Anthem, the Singing of the Song of Peace followed by a moment of silence.  
Around this time, the pilot who has taken out aerial photograph usually is close to flying over head.  The pilot was the husband of one of our 2nd grade teachers and he always participates and takes the most amazing photographs free of charge.  The sad thing is- she has since become a stay at home mom and now he is unable to take the aerial photograph.  We are hoping that by this Friday- we will be able to arrange SOME type of back up plan.
The first two years- all the students wore white t-shirts and we formed a giant human peace sign.  Last year we made a dove. And we made the cover of our local newspaper!
 St Augustine Record

This year we are thinking about trying a giant heart and asking everyone to wear RED!!  I hope everything works out because it is such a great event for promoting peace and art!  

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