By Julie Huss
---- — DERRY — Students at Gilbert H. Hood Middle School set their minds on “whirled” peace through the action of some simple paper pinwheels.
On Sept. 20, students honored the International Peace effort and planted a front yard full of paper pinwheels as part of the school’s annual Pinwheels for Peace project.
Hundreds of paper pinwheels were placed in the school’s grassy yard to honor the day, each decorated with personal peaceful messages, creative artwork and special thoughts.
Hood staff members said the annual peace project gives students a chance to express themselves on a simple folded pinwheel, giving their views on the world and thoughts about what peace means.
Some pinwheels were intricately decorated with symbols and color. Others offered simple messages like “peace” and “love.”
The pinwheel program began at Hood in 2005 as an art and literacy project. Now, every student in the school is able to create a pinwheel, promoting school spirit and teamwork.
“It’s become a tradition,” Hood guidance staffer Jen Ayotte said. “It sparks discussion because peace means lots of things.”
Pinwheels for Peace is a national effort honoring International Peace Day. Every year, thousands of pinwheels are placed around the world at schools and public places.