With handmade pinwheels spinning, Howard Elementary students assembled around the school’s peace pole on the morning of Sept. 26, 2018 to celebrate International Day of Peace.

The event was spearheaded by the school’s art and music teachers, Ms. Suzie Thomas and Ms. Becky Ventura.  To prepare for the event, students learned a peace song in music and made pinwheels out of paper, pencil and thumbtack in art.

Ms. Thomas noted the pinwheels that “whirred” were intended to remind students to pursue “world” peace.  She told the students to imagine millions of pinwheels of all different shapes and sizes spinning all across the world, each bearing a message for peace.

“This is the Pinwheels for Peace project!” Thomas said.  Peace does not just mean an end to war, but also learning to get along with those around us, including our classmates, she reminded students.

The United Nations established the first International Day of Peace in 1981 to coincide with the start of the U.N.’s General Assembly, Ms. Ventura said.  Since then, the date was changed to be Sept. 21 every year, although Howard opted to hold its celebration on Sept. 26.

The brief outdoor ceremony included a few comments from adults and the students waiving their pinwheels in the brisk fall wind and singing the peace song.

“Please join us every year on International Day of Peace, Sept. 21st, as we create a visual public statement about peace!” Ms. Thomas told the students.