COOS BAY - Human Rights Advocates of Coos County will take part in an International art and literacy project, Pinwheels for Peace, by supporting local schools to “plant” pinwheels with messages of peace on Sept. 21.

Locally, Bittin Duggan with other HRACC members are coordinating the Pinwheels for Peace project this year. They are inviting local Elementary Schools in Coos County to engage directly to make their own events on campus. The Lighthouse School has been participating in this event for 10 years. HRACC will walk with Pinwheels for Peace in this years Bay Area Fun Festival parade on Sept. 16. All are welcome to join to walk in unity for peace. Find HRACC's place in line by asking the coordinators at Second and Golden Street between 12:30-12:50 p.m. on Sept. 16.

Pinwheels for Peace is an art installation project started in 2005 by two art teachers, Ann Ayers and Ellen McMillan, of Coconut Creek, FL, as a way for students to express their feelings about what’s going on in the world and in their lives. In the first year, groups in over 1,325 locations throughout the world were spinning pinwheels on Sept. 21 - there were approximately 500,000 pinwheels spinning throughout the world. Last year (year 11), 2016, over 4.5 million pinwheels were spinning in over 3,500 locations, including the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia, Canada, the Middle East, Africa and South America.

Students will create pinwheels of all shapes and sizes as part of the creation process. They will write personal thoughts about "war and peace/tolerance/living in harmony with others" on one side and on the other side, they will draw, paint, collage, etc. to visually express their feelings. The students will assemble these pinwheels and on International Day of Peace they will "plant" their pinwheels outside their schools as a public statement and art exhibit/installation.

This project is non-political – peace doesn’t necessarily have to be associated with the conflict of war, it can be related to violence/intolerance in daily lives, to peace of mind. Peace can take on a different meaning for everyone, but, in the end, it all comes down to a simple definition: “a state of calm and serenity, with no anxiety, the absence of violence, freedom from conflict or disagreement among people or groups of people.”

On Sept. 21, keep a lookout for the pinwheels – the spinning of the pinwheels in the wind will spread thoughts and feelings about peace throughout the country and the world. 

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