When Art Teacher Sarah Eargle started teaching at Barnesville in 2016, she saw an opportunity to build on the school's long-standing Peace Week tradition that honors the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. each January.
In conjunction with the September 21 World Peace Day, she introduced students to the international art project “Imagine Whirled Peace," planting more than 100 student-made “Pinwheels for Peace” in front of the School.
This year, some Barnesville classes once again made “Pinwheels for Peace," while others found new ways to observe the day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace.
School Librarian Ms. Walsh offered book suggestions for teachers at different grade levels and set aside a special display of books related to Peace Day for students to check out. The entire School participated in a Peace Day discussion at Morning Meeting. Pre-k spent time reflecting in the woods and creating observational drawings in their nature journals. And, third and fourth graders made a giant peace sign on the athletic fields.
Ms. Eargle said, "Integrating an activity or book into each of our classes that relates to the topic of peace is a good way to set the tone for the school year and prepare students for continuing the conversation with more detail in January."
Peace Day and Peace Week activities are part of the School’s character education program which is built on core values of kindness, service, perseverance, respect, initiative, courage, cooperation, responsibility, and honesty. September’s character word is kindness.
Pinwheels for Peace is an art installation project started in 2005 by two Art teachers, Ann Ayers and Ellen McMillan, of Coconut Creek, Florida, as a way for students to express their feelings about what’s going on in the world and in their lives. The Pinwheels for Peace project is non-political. Its organizers emphasize that peace doesn’t necessarily have to be associated with the conflict of war, it can be related to violence/intolerance in our daily lives, to peace of mind.