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Seeking whirled peace

Bester students participate in Pinwheels for Peace

Bester students participate in Pinwheels for Peace

September 22, 2006|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

Aaliyah Williams wanted to make a statement about peace. But not without using her favorite color: pink.

The Bester Elementary School third-grader covered her paper pinwheel with hot pink marker. The pinwheel was one of 600 lining a grassy area in front of the school.

Every student and faculty member made a pinwheel and placed it in the yard Thursday to celebrate the International Day of Peace. The day was established by a United Nations Resolution in 1981. A more recent resolution added that the day be a global cease-fire.

Joshua Edwards, an art teacher at Bester, said this was the first time a Washington County school participated in Pinwheels for Peace, a project that started last year with two Florida teachers.

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About 1 million pinwheels were expected to have been constructed and displayed Thursday worldwide, Edwards said.

Students and faculty at Bester were instructed to write their thoughts about war, peace, tolerance and living in harmony with others on one side. On the other, they drew or painted to visually express their feelings.

"This is not a political statement at all," Edwards said. "They're really bombarded with violence in comic books, television and even everyday life. They're expressing a positive feeling, like peace."

Brenden Mebane Brown, 8, wrote the words "cheerful" and "happy" on his pinwheel.

"It's about people coming together," he said.

For Brenden, the best part actually was cutting the paper, designing and constructing the pinwheel.

Maceo Green, 8, drew about a dozen small flowers on his pinwheel with words like "love."

"These are just peace words," he said. "I wanted it to show that art had a meaning ... peace."

Third-grader Olivia Griffin said she wanted her pinwheel to be bright.

Tiffany Faith, also in third grade, said she wanted hers to be red, green, blue and purple because those were her grandfather's favorite colors before he passed away.

"I just wanted to celebrate peace for him," she said.

Olivia said she liked making the pinwheels, and that it represented peace because it spins almost silently.

"Peace isn't noisy," Olivia said. "And not a lot of people are mad at each other."

Edwards said he was going to be clearing the pinwheels late Thursday. Watching cars drive past the school along East Memorial Boulevard, Olivia said she hoped they saw the pinwheels and thought about peace.

Aaliyah said she wanted them to see the pinwheels spinning.

"I like to be nice," Aaliyah said.

That's why she wanted to make a pinwheel to support peace.

"That's what peace means," Aaliyah said. "Being nice."

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