Out the students came from Oxford school, one-by-one, each holding a pinwheel that carried an important message.
The decorated pinwheels were placed in front of the school, side-by-side next to the sidewalk on North Street in Halifax, as about 350 students at the P-9 school left their mark on International Peace Day.
“The idea is that they’re spreading messages of peace in their community,” said Brenda Vaughan, a Grade 7 teacher at Oxford who helped to put together yesterday’s event. “They all would have had discussions in groups about what peace means to them and then they put those thoughts and ideas on their pinwheels.”
The project, titled Pinwheels for Peace, is world-renowned as students marked the day with their own pinwheels at schools across the globe.
At Oxford, yesterday morning’s event was the latest in a string of activities done in the past year to promote peace in the community and the classroom.
“We’re teaching our students to be ambassadors of peace,” said school principal Joe Morrison.
“We work with a core group of students who then spread the word around the school, teach the other students about dealing with conflict.”
Morrison said 45 students were ambassadors last year to “deal with conflict resolution in a peaceful way.” That number is growing to 70 this year as the kids meet each week to talk about conflict resolution.
“Each year the program will get bigger and bigger until everyone in the school is trained as an ambassador,” Morrison proclaimed.
Chloe Hart, a Grade 9 French Immersion student, was one of the students who placed a pinwheel into the ground. She’s also a member of the ambassador program, and called yesterday a chance “to show other schools and the community that Oxford school is a peaceful place.
“I’m actually really surprised how well it worked out,” Hart said. “It seems like everyone is taking it pretty seriously.”