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LBE students plant Pinwheels for Peace

Kindergarten teacher Peggy Tracy and kindergartener Nathaniel Bohne march in the parade as part of Long Branch Elementary’s celebration of Pinwheels for Peace. After the parade, students planted their pinwheels in the school’s front lawn.

Kindergarten teacher Peggy Tracy and kindergartener Nathaniel Bohne march in the parade as part of Long Branch Elementary’s celebration of Pinwheels for Peace. After the parade, students planted their pinwheels in the school’s front lawn. Photo by Sarah Hall.

— “They design the pinwheels, so each pinwheel is different,” Matott said. “Each one puts what they think is peaceful on there, whether it’s their favorite colors or their images of peace or words of peace, so it helps them to connect what peace is to themselves and to others in their school.”

The pinwheels were then attached to sticks in preparation for planting in the school’s front lawn. Students marched around the school carrying their artwork, then planted their pinwheels in the shape of a peace sign on the school’s front lawn Monday afternoon. Both Matott and LBE Principal Robert McCrone talked to the assembled children about the importance of the day.

“Peace is the same as getting along with people, kindness, understanding, using our words to figure out problems,” Principal Bob McCrone told the students. “That’s all part of peace, and that’s a lot of what we do at Long Branch. Putting your pinwheel in there shows you understand that.”

“Everybody’s peace is something different,” Matott said. “We’re going to take just a minute to think about what peace means to you. Look around you and see all the different colors, all the different faces, all the different smiles, all the different people — we make up Long Branch Elementary.”

Matott said she was hopeful that the pinwheels would carry that message of peace and tolerance beyond the school itself.

“I think it does bring awareness to other people when they see the pinwheels out in front of the school. It just makes us pause and think about it,” she said. “Children are the quintessential symbol of joy, and they should be. That’s what we’re hoping for.”

For more information about Pinwheels for Peace, visit pinwheelsforpeace.com.

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