2008-09-05 / Entertainment/Lifestyles

Rockaway Spinning For Peace

In today's world, peace needs to become more than just a word. On September 21, 2008, P.S. 105 and the Rockaway Museum will take part in an International art and literacy project, Pinwheels for Peace by "planting" pinwheels with messages of peace at the school, libraries, homes and businesses in Rockaway.

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 is going on in the world and in their lives.

In the first year, groups in more than 1,325 locations throughout the world were spinning pinwheels on September 21, with approximately 500,000 pinwheels spinning throughout the world. Last year, 2007, more than 1.2 million pinwheels were spinning in over 2,500 locations, including the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia, Canada, the Middle East, Africa and South America.

Locally, Norma Allende, Art teacher P.S. 105, will be coordinating the Pinwheels for Peace Project and hopes that other local schools will take part.

This project is non-political. Peace doesn't necessarily have to be associated with the conflict of war, it can be related to violence/ intolerance in our daily lives and, to peace of mind. To each of us, peace can take on a different meaning, but, in the end, it all comes down to a simple definition: "a state of calm and serenity, with no anxiety, the absence of violence, freedom from conflict or disagreement among people or groups of people."

The Rockaway Museum will conduct workshops for children and adults in local libraries to create pinwheels, write their thoughts about "war and peace/ tolerance/ living in harmony with others" on one side, draw, paint, collage, etc. to visually express their feelings on the other and plant their pinwheels for all to see on September 21, Peace Day.

"We encourage the community to participate in this project," says Allende, "by creating and displaying these wheels for peace." For further information and pinwheel template, go to www.pinwheelsforpeace.com.

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