Peaceful Participation



    Commemorating the United Nations’ International Day of Peace, which occurs each year to recognize the efforts of those who endeavor to end conflict and promote peace, Sayville students have traditionally prepared for the occasion in a variety of districtwide projects, such as the Pinwheels Project, the Shanti Fund, and the Peace Pole.

    This year, prior to the day of Peace (Friday, September 21st), the High School and Cherry Avenue Elementary School joined with over 3 million others worldwide and prepared for the celebration by making pinwheels in their art classes. On the official International Day of Peace, the High School art students in Mr. Evan Hammer’s classes placed their decorative Pinwheels For Peace around the Peace Pole in the courtyard. Students in the High School Jewelry classes also wore hand-made bracelets displaying messages of peace.

    At Cherry Avenue, Art teacher Robin Laxton and students gathered on the front lawn for the installation of their handcrafted pinwheels. Planting the colorful pinwheels in circles, the elementary students had created a kinetic display that pulsed in the gentle breezes and gave passers-by moments of peaceful reflection. The spinning pinwheels also served as a reminder that peace is not just a symbol, but an action that can be found in a kind word, a helping hand, along with compassion for others.

     A few weeks later, Sayville Middle School Art teacher Jen Berotti, who had spearheaded the Pinwheels for Peace Project for many years, shifted projects this year in conjunction with her colleague Tiffany Trava and student teacher Kim Melhado. Their art classes worked on international flags to celebrate the United Nations’ International Day of Nonviolence. Held on Oct 2nd, Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, it tied in with the annual Shanti Fund 2012 theme Peace Possibilities. “The students drew white doves and decorated the flags with quotes by Gandhi and ideas about peace,” Ms. Berotti explained. “Using tissue paper collage, Miss Trava’s class made flags depicting nations from all over the world.” The Art teachers and students selected to plant their international flags in the Middle School Peace Pole courtyard to emphasize the importance of worldwide peace and ceasefire in both personal and political conflicts.

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