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TAES 2nd graders participate in ‘Pinwheels for Peace’ project

Say ‘peace’!
Mr. Jim Koller’s smiling second grade class posed for a photo while they were outside Friday morning participating in a worldwide event called “Pinwheels for Peace”. All the second grade classes at TAES participated in the project with elementary art teacher Mrs. Ann Yaniello. (The Daily Herald/Kris Yaniello)
Planting their pinwheels

Pictured here is a group of second graders from Mr. Koller’s class at TAES. These young ladies are all smiles after completing their “Pinwheels for Peace” project in Mrs. Yaniello’s art class. (The Daily Herald/Kris Yaniello)

In today’s world, peace needs to become more than just a word. On September 21, 2007, Tyrone Area Elementary School second graders took part in an international art and literacy project, Pinwheels for Peace, by “planting” pinwheels with messages of peace in front of the TAES building’s entrance.
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. In 2005, groups in over 1,325 locations throughout the world were spinning pinwheels on September 21 – there were approximately 500,000 pinwheels spinning throughout the world.
Last year, 2006, over one million pinwheels were spinning in over 2,350 locations, including the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia, Canada, the Middle East, Africa and South America.
Locally, Mrs. Ann Yaniello, elementary art teacher, coordinated the Pinwheels for Peace project this year for the second grade classes of Mr. Jim Koller, Mrs. Marcie Stager, Mrs. Jennifer Rhoades, Mrs. Amy Fleck, Mrs. Leslie Hasson and Mrs. Barb Elder at TAES.
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, 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.”
TAES second grade classes created pinwheels – as part of the creation process, the students wrote their thoughts about “war and peace/tolerance/living in harmony with others” on one side. On the other side, they drew or designed those thoughts to visually express their feelings. The students assembled these pinwheels, and on Friday’s International Day of Peace they “planted” their pinwheels in the school’s front lawn as a public statement and art exhibit/installation.
The second grade students showed their excitement about the project as they were outside placing their pinwheels in the ground. The kids were smiling from ear to ear and chanting their elation of “peace” over and over again. It was truly a wonderful sight to watch young children exuberant about the message of peace.
Elementary art teacher Ann Yaniello stated, “The kids had so much fun doing the project, and we’re happy about being a part of this national and worldwide event. We hope to be able to keep doing the Pinwheel for Peace project every year.”
Imagine “whirled peace.” It was created by TAES students and others all around the world on September 21 – the spinning of the pinwheels in the wind spread thoughts and feelings about peace throughout the country and the world, and our children were at the forefront.