CLYMER, N.Y. — Colorful messages of hope and inspiration welcomed students, staff and visitors to Clymer Central School today.

The phrases were written on rows of whirling pinwheels that were planted near the school entryway in honor of International Day of Peace.

The project — which included 120 fifth-, sixth- and eighth-grade and Studio Art students — was spearheaded by art teachers Cheryl Burk and Jillian Kiendl.

“It’s so important for our students to take the time to stop and think about peace and harmony,” Burk said. “They will be directly affected in a few years when they turn 18.”

Pinwheels for Peace was started in 2005 by two art teachers in Florida as a way for students to express their feelings about what’s happening in the world and in their lives.

The project is nonpolitical. Peace doesn’t necessarily have to be associated with the conflict of war, it can be related to violence and intolerance in the students’ daily lives.

This is Clymer’s second year participating in the project.

“A lot of the messages were really positive,” Burk said. “They have a sense of hope.”

On one side of the pinwheel, students were instructed to draw or paint images to visually express their feeling about war and peace, tolerance or living in harmony with others.

English teachers assisted students with the other side of the pinwheel, which displays written messages to correlate with the drawings.

“Maybe one day these kids can make a difference,” Burk said.

Last year, about 2.3 million pinwheels were spinning in more than 3,000 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia, Canada, the Middle East, Africa and South America.

See the Journal's Monday, September 21st edition for full story.

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