Pinwheels for Peace an inspiring symbol for Kinkora pupils
Wednesday September 27, 2006
The students and staff of St. Patrick’s School in Kinkora celebrated the International Day of Peace on Sept. 21 in a big way. The students created a giant peace sign made out of pinwheels they made over the past week. Each student planted at least two colourful pinwheels in the school yard, decorated with words about peace and drawing to visually depict it.
Principal John McCarroll said the idea for the celebration, called Pinwheels for Peace, came from Peaceful Schools International and is the first step to St. Patrick’s becoming a certified ‘peaceful’ school. “The school is working to become a certified peaceful school and this is one of the activities to begin that process,” said McCarroll. He added students are being sent to a conflict resolution workshop to become peer mediators and peace makers. The process will take about six months as a plan has to be in place to institute conflict resolution in the students. “Once we establish that in the school a survey is sent out to the students, parents and staff, completed and submitted for review and we are either certified or told we need to adjust some of our strategies,” he McCarroll said he did this in his previous school.
“Peaceful Schools International is an organization the provides material to schools free of charge. For the certification process you have plan to help children understand conflict resolution and if you are certified you get a ceremony, a special flag and are given material to help with lessons about peace.
“It is just a wonderful way to focus for a Catholic school because we want to teach kids about peace,” he said.
Patty Anderson, the religion advisory teacher at St. Patrick’s, took off with the idea, said McCarroll.
“She organized the whole thing. She’s an inspiring teacher,” he said. “I’m always up and ready for anything to do with how we act towards each other and how the children act with each other,” she said. “I thought this was a good idea.” She said the idea for a large, outdoor peace sign made of pinwheels came after a summer trip to British Columbia. Anderson said her nephew’s school did an “Art Attack” and she wanted to do something similar. “Peace is important in a school because everyone is working so closely together. Peace begins here in this little school community and spreads out to their homes and eventually – hopefully – the world can be full of more peace,” said Anderson, adding “We are a Catholic school and we have to practice what we preach.
“The kids thought it was awesome. They had so much fun doing it,” she said. “It went really well.”