Huntsville Montessori School students celebrate ‘Pinwheels for Peace’

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - In today's world, peace needs to become more than just a casual salutation. Friday the Montessori School of Huntsville took part in an international art and literacy project, Pinwheels for Peace, by "planting" pinwheels with messages of good will.

Pinwheels for Peace is an art installation project started in 2005 by 2 art teachers, Ann Ayers and Ellen McMillan of Coconut Creek, FL. as a way for students to express their feelings about what's going on in the world and in their lives.

The students of MSH crafted pinwheels of all shapes and sizes with peaceful thoughts on one side and drawings, paintings or collages on the other.

Pupils gathered in a large circle to lead a peace pledge, appropriately recite one of Langston Hughes most celebrated poems, and sing songs together.

It's a small, innocent gesture but one that goes a long way in a continual effort to promote peace among Montessori students.

"Every day is an opportunity for them to learn about peace," explains Montessori School of Huntsville Director Allison MacKenzie. "This is just an artistic extension of their everyday lessons in the classroom on managing conflict, interpersonal and interpersonal peacemaking."

The project is nonpolitical. The purpose of spinning of the pinwheels in the wind is to spread thoughts and feelings about peace throughout the country and the world. It's an abstract concept, but not one lost on the next generation of peacemakers.

"We begin geography instruction as young as 2 years old and our children really learn the concept of a global society early," MacKenzie explains. "And so expanding the idea of peace from just internal to the whole world is not something that's too much for even a young mind to understand.

September 21 is International Peace Day. Click here for more information on ways you and your family can promote 'whirled peace.'