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Interactors Imagine ‘Whirled Peace’

First published in the Sept. 30 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.

In today’s world, peace needs to become more than just a word. On Sept. 21, students, staff, and faculty of San Marino High School plan took part in an international art and literacy project called Pinwheels for Peace by “planting” pinwheels with messages of peace on campus.

Photos courtesy SMHS Interact Club SMHS Rotary Interactors plant pinwheels for peace at dawn on International Peace Day. Club President Leo Chen, from left, Justin Lin, Caroline Corley, Lulu Yu, Otis Thai, Mark O’ Mara and Vice President Elaina Lee.

Pinwheels for Peace is an art installation project begun in 2005 by two Florida art teachers, Ann Ayers and Ellen McMillan, as a way for students to express their feelings about what is happening in the world and in their lives. In the first year, groups at more than 1,325 locations across the world were spinning pinwheels on Sept. 21. There were approximately 500,000 pinwheels spinning throughout the world. By 2019, more than five million pinwheels were spinning in over 3,500 locations, including the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia, Canada, the Middle East, Africa and South America.
Locally, the SMHS Rotary Interact Club is coordinating the Pinwheels for Peace project.
“Participants decorated pinwheels as part of the creation process and they write and draw their thoughts about creating peace, and supporting justice, equity and inclusion in the hope of living in harmony with others,” a spokesperson said. “The completed pinwheels were ‘planted’ along the front lawn of SMHS on the International Day of Peace as a public statement and art installation.”
Interact is a club for youth ages 12-18 who want to connect with others in their community or school. Club members are encouraged to have fun while carrying out service projects and learning about the world. While the clubs receive guidance from individual Rotary clubs, they govern and support themselves.

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